Category Archives: Entertaining

Ratatouille Tart with Polenta Crust

Ratatouille Tart with Polenta Crust {Gluten-Free, Plant-Based}If you’re searching for a plant-based summer recipe that is as visually striking as it is delicious, look no further. This Ratatouille Tart with Polenta Crust combines two of my favorite things—simply-prepared vegetables and soft corn polenta—and elevates them into one magnificent main. Did I mention that it’s naturally gluten-free and vegetarian?*

*I wrote vegan swaps in the recipe, too.Ratatouille Tart with Polenta Crust {Gluten-Free, Plant-Based}Ratatouille Tart with Polenta Crust {Gluten-Free, Plant-Based}While this recipe takes some time to prepare, none of the steps are difficult and the results are more than worth the effort! You can make things easier for yourself by preparing the polenta and forming the crust a day ahead.Ratatouille Tart with Polenta Crust {Gluten-Free, Plant-Based}Ratatouille Tart with Polenta Crust {Gluten-Free, Plant-Based}When you’re ready to bake, spread on some tomato sauce and slice up a bunch of summer produce. If you’re a little fancier than I am and have a mandoline, this would be a great time to use it.Ratatouille Tart with Polenta Crust {Gluten-Free, Plant-Based}Assemble the tart by arranging the sliced vegetables in concentric circles and finishing them off with olive oil and fresh thyme. Cover the whole thing with a parchment round to ensure that everything cooks evenly. And then…Ratatouille Tart with Polenta Crust {Gluten-Free, Plant-Based}Ratatouille Tart with Polenta Crust {Gluten-Free, Plant-Based}…well, let’s just say I’ll pray for you during the thirty minutes between baking and slicing. I promise it’ll be worth the wait. I mean, when are polenta and ratatouille not worth the wait?!Ratatouille Tart with Polenta Crust {Gluten-Free, Plant-Based}Ratatouille Tart with Polenta Crust {Gluten-Free, Plant-Based}I love this tart when it’s fresh, but you should know that it slices particularly well at room temperature and cold, meaning this is a great make-ahead option. The tart pictured here was made on a Monday and reheated by the slice for lunches all week long.Ratatouille Tart with Polenta Crust {Gluten-Free, Plant-Based}It was exactly as wonderful as it looks.Ratatouille Tart with Polenta Crust {Gluten-Free, Plant-Based}

Ratatouille Tart with Polenta Crust
ratatouille adapted from Deb Perelman
makes 1 9-inch round tart, 4-6 servings

Polenta Crust:
2 cups water
1 cup whole milk (or unflavored, unsweetened plant milk)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup coarse ground cornmeal
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
1/2 teaspoon prepared dijon mustard
few grinds freshly ground black pepper

Ratatouille:
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 shallot, minced
1/2-1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt (based on your taste), divided
~1/2 small, thin eggplant, 1/8 inch slices
~1/2 medium zucchini, 1/8 inch slices
~1/2 medium yellow squash, 1/8 inch slices
~1/2 long, thin red bell pepper, seeded, 1/8 inch slices
~1 1/2 roma tomatoes, 1/8 inch slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
few grinds freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

For assembly:
9-inch round piece of parchment paper

For serving (optional):
fresh parsley or other herbs
feta or goat cheese

Grease a 9-inch round springform pan or tart pan with removable bottom. Set aside.

Make polenta. Bring water and milk to a simmer. Keep an eye on it, as milk can boil over dramatically without much notice. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Whisking constantly, add polenta in a thin stream. Reduce heat to medium-low, whisking very frequently for 25-30 minutes, until thick. Remove from heat. Whisk in butter, dijon, and black pepper. Transfer to prepared pan and use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to spread it to the edges. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Using the back of a wet spoon, press the polenta from the center toward the edges of the pan to create a rustic crust. Set aside. At this point, the crust may be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare the ratatouille filling. Spread tomato sauce on the bottom of the tart. Scatter minced garlic and shallot over the top, along with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Starting from the outer edge and working in a concentric circle to the center, arrange sliced eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, red bell pepper and tomato in an overlapping pattern. Drizzle with olive oil and top with 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper and fresh thyme.

Cut a piece of parchment to fit over the pan, covering all exposed tart. Gently lay it in the pan. Bake tart 45-55 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Remove and discard parchment. Let tart cool at least 30 minutes before slicing. Serve with fresh herbs or cheese, if desired.

Slices will be neatest at room temperature, but tart may be served at any temperature. Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.Ratatouille Tart with Polenta Crust {Gluten-Free, Plant-Based}Ratatouille Tart with Polenta Crust {Gluten-Free, Plant-Based}Ratatouille Tart with Polenta Crust {Gluten-Free, Plant-Based}

Ratatouille Tart with Polenta Crust {Gluten-Free, Plant-Based}

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Pork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle Sauce

Pork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle SauceRemember that Slow-Roasted Pulled Pork I posted a few weeks ago? It’s one of my very favorite weeknight staples.

Have you tried it yet? If not, get on it! You’re in for a treat 🙂 It makes killer sandwiches, of course, and the recipe makes plenty to freeze for later. Quantity is pretty important for a recipe like that—it’s called “slow-roasted” for a reason.Pork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle SauceI like to freeze the leftovers by the pound, which works out to about four loosely-packed cups of pulled pork. That way, I can thaw just a little bit at a time. You know, for more sandwiches. Or salads. Or nachos. Or eating directly out of the refrigerator.Pork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle SauceAll of those are great options (especially that last one), but these Pork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle Sauce are almost certainly my favorite way to repurpose my leftovers! Succulent pulled pork wrapped in tender corn tortillas, covered in a simple homemade sauce, smothered with monterey jack and baked until bubbly? Sign me up!Pork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle SaucePork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle SaucePork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle SaucePork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle SauceI absolutely love these enchiladas. I made a big batch last weekend, ate them for dinner for four days, and was still sad to see them go! They’re meaty and smoky, cheesy without being greasy or heavy, and since the filling is prepared beforehand, they’re pretty low-maintenance as far as enchiladas go. Did I mention that the sauce can be made ahead, too?Pork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle SaucePork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle Sauce would be great with rice and beans, but I like them paired with a big salad and a few slices of avocado. They’re also the sort of dish that works just as well for a weeknight as they do for a dinner party.Pork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle SauceOn that note, if you’re making these for a dinner party, I would like to be invited, okay? Okay.Pork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle Sauce

Pork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle Sauce
makes about 4-6 servings

Smoky Chipotle Sauce:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 small onion, large diced
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
1-4 chipotles in adobo + 2 teaspoons of the sauce
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons sugar, honey, or maple syrup
1/2-1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

For the enchiladas:
canola oil, for frying
12-16 corn tortillas
3 1/2 cups Smoky Chipotle Sauce
1 pound (about 4 cups) pulled pork
1/2 small onion, finely diced
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Garnish (optional):
sliced scallions
chopped cilantro

Make the Smoky Chipotle Sauce. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add diced onion and crushed garlic cloves and cook, stirring frequently, until onion has softened (about 7-10 minutes). Remove from heat. Add tomatoes, chipotles in adobo + sauce, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and stock. Use a stick blender to purée until smooth. Alternatively, you may put all the ingredients, including onion and garlic, into a regular blender and purée.

Return pot to medium heat. Simmer, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust the salt as necessary. Sauce may be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated.

Make the enchiladas. Heat 1/2 inch of canola oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Using tongs, briefly fry each tortilla for 5 seconds per side before laying on a plate.

Assemble the enchiladas. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a large casserole (9×13″) with oil. Pour in 1 cup of sauce and spread it to cover the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

Pour 1 cup of the sauce in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Take tortillas one-by-one. Dip in the sauce to get a thin coat on both sides. Fill each tortilla with about 3-4 tablespoons of pulled pork and a sprinkle of diced onion. Roll them tightly before placing them seam-side down in the prepared pan. Once enchiladas are rolled, top with remaining sauce (about 2 cups) and cheese.

Bake 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is brown at the edges. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with sliced scallions and/or chopped cilantro, if desired.Pork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle SaucePork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle Sauce

Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula Pizza

Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaAround this time every year, I draw a bit of a blank when it comes to this blog. I mean, I have plenty of ideas, but they are all autumn-related right now and I am a stickler for seasons. I know it’s getting cooler and the light is changing and all that, but it is technically still summer.Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaWe still have some berries and decent tomatoes left, but my desire to work with them has waned considerably—the pumpkin tunnel-vision is real, y’all. It doesn’t help that my social media feeds have been loaded with autumnal treats since August 15th. Regardless, I’m holding out on pumpkin and apples until September 21st. Nine more days.Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaSo, if I’m done with most summer produce and am not ready for fall, what’s left? Figs. So many figs. They are everywhere right now!
Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaYou know what goes great with fresh figs? Salty prosciutto. And arugula. And gorgonzola. And balsamic vinegar.Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaI could have taken all of these things and made a salad or something, but instead I threw them all on a pizza and you should, too.Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaI take great pride in the quality of pizza I make at home. So many homemade pizzas come out on the bready side of things, which is great if that’s what you’re into, but it simply does not appeal to me. Instead, I go for a dough that is simple and stretchy, baking up paper thin in the center and puffy and chewy at the edges. Here it’s covered with a thin layer of tomato sauce and a few ounces of fresh mozzarella, along with prosciutto and some quartered figs.Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaI let it start in a 500F oven before pulling it out, scattering some crumbled gorgonzola and a few more figs over the top (for variance in texture), and then throwing it under the broiler. I like to let it get a little crispy for a coal-oven-esque flavor.Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaProsciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaNext comes a bed of arugula that’s been tossed with olive oil. I love the contrast of these peppery greens with the saltiness of the prosciutto and the jammy figs.Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaProsciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaThis pizza gets finished off with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar that’s been reduced to a thick, sweet syrup. Mmhmm.Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaProsciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaOh, y’all. This is really good. Like I-ate-half-a-pizza-and-feel-absolutely-no-remorse good.Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaIt’s a good thing the recipe makes two pizzas. That’s one for you and one for me, okay?!Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula Pizza

Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula Pizza
makes 2 pizzas

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 batch Pizza Dough (2 dough balls)
4-6 tablespoons strained tomatoes, tomato purée, or other sauce, divided
6-8 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into pieces, divided
4 ounces prosciutto, sliced into bite-sized pieces, divided
8-10 fresh black figs, trimmed and quartered, divided
1/4 cup gorgonzola crumbles, divided (optional)
2 cups baby arugula, packed
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

If you have an in-oven broiler, place one rack about 6 inches from the heating element. Preheat oven to 500F for at least one hour–the entire oven needs to be very hot.

While the oven is heating, reduce the balsamic vinegar. Pour it into a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Simmer 8-10 minutes, or until thickened and reduced to 1/4 cup. Transfer to a small bowl. Aside.

When oven has heated for one hour, flour 2 rimmed baking sheets, tapping out any excess.

Flour your hands. Working with one ball of risen pizza dough at a time, place your hands (palms down underneath the dough, lifting it from the pan it rose on. Moving your hands slowly, let dough stretch with gravity, moving your hands slowly in a circular motion to allow for even stretching. Gently place dough on one of the prepared pans. Stretch further with your fingertips until the desire shape is reached. Pinch the edges to form a crust. Set aside while you stretch and shape the other ball of dough.

Working with one pizza at a time, pour 2-3 tablespoons of sauce in the center. Use a spoon or ladle to spread the sauce in a circular motion, leaving blank space at the crust. Scatter torn mozzarella over the top, followed by 2 ounces of prosciutto and 3 quartered figs (12 quarters). Set aside while you top the other pizza.

Working with one pizza at a time, bake pizza (in the lightly-floured pan) for 6-8 minutes on the floor of your oven. Remove from oven. Lift edges with a spatula to ensure bottom crust is browned. If it isn’t, bake for an additional 1-2 minutes, checking bottom crust after each minute. Repeat process with other pizza.

If you do not have an in-oven broiler, turn off oven and heat broiler for 5-10 minutes, until very hot. If you do have an in-oven broiler, turn it on and proceed immediately.

Scatter 2 tablespoons gorgonzola crumbles and 1-2 more quartered figs (4-8 quarters) over each pizza.

Broil each pizza 1-4 minutes, until crust and cheese are bubbly and a bit charred. Check pizzas after each minute, and every 30-45 seconds after the 2 minute mark. My pizzas broil in 2 1/2-3 minutes. I like to rotate the pans after 1 1/2 minutes for even browning. Let pizzas cool for five minutes in their pans.

In a medium mixing bowl, toss together arugula and olive oil.

Remove pizzas to cutting board(s). Top with arugula and a drizzle of balsamic reduction (you will have leftover reduction). Slice pizzas with a sharp chef’s knife (or pizza cutter) and serve immediately. Wrap any leftovers in foil and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Arugula will wilt over time.Prosciutto, Fig & Arugula PizzaProsciutto, Fig & Arugula Pizza

Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 2: Swiss Meringue Buttercream & the Game Plan

For Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 1, click here. For Vol. 3, click here.
Swiss Meringue ButtercreamWedding Day is two days away and things are getting *real* around here. I have not lost my mind yet, but that’s a very big “yet.”

To be fair, this is probably the most prepared I’ve ever been for anything in my life. I’ve read all the homemade wedding cake information out there (especially Deb’s brilliant series) and done as much work ahead as I possibly could.Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 2
In case you missed it, the cake will be three round tiers (14-inch base, 10-inch center, 6-inch top), all vanilla, with alternating mocha and caramel fillings and Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Each tier will be filled, frosted, and doweled (!) at my workspace in Brooklyn, and then transported via my friend David’s trusty Volvo station wagon to the Central Park Boathouse on Sunday afternoon. The cake will be assembled on site and finished off with a cascade of fresh flowers. And then I will go put on my ballet pink bridesmaid’s dress and support my friend as she marries the man she loves. Did I mention that I’m a bridesmaid, too?Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 2
I baked, wrapped, and froze all the cake layers last week—that’s what I did to celebrate the Fourth of July. All the layers are made with my Vanilla Layer Cake recipe, but instead of baking them at the usual 350F, I went with a lower 300F. This helped keep them flatter—sort of the opposite of how I bake muffins—but also meant that each individual layer took 50 minutes to bake. Each layer was triple-wrapped in plastic and frozen flat.Swiss Meringue Buttercream
For those interested, I used Wilton Decorator Preferred pans that came as a set. Each 14-inch layer took 1.5x of the regular 9-inch cake recipe (10 cups of batter). The 10-inch layers were made with 0.75x the recipe (5 cups of batter), and the 6-inch layers were made with 0.37x the recipe (2.5 cups of batter). There was a lot of math and I’m sure most of it was inaccurate.Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 2
Since this is my first-ever tiered cake, I had to learn some new skills, namely how to dowel a cake so that it will be structurally sound and not one big, sad mess. This meant watching many YouTube videos about tiered cake assembly and, of course, doing some practice.Swiss Meringue Buttercream
I made two miniature wedding cakes last weekend, each with a 6-inch base and 4-inch top. The first was hideous from humidity, but it was properly assembled and survived a ten minute walk to a friend’s house without incident. The second was properly doweled and pretty. It’s basically exactly what I hope the real deal will look like but, you know, bigger. A lot bigger.Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 2Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 2
FYI, my favorite part of doweling a cake is shoving a sharpened dowel through the whole thing. It’s very satisfying to break through the top tier’s cake board.Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 2
On Wednesday, I picked up last second supplies—extra dowels, cake rounds, boxes, and a gold-foiled cake base. My beloved N.Y. Cake Supply is currently closed while it moves to a bigger space, so this meant going to The Sugar Room in Sunnyside, Queens. I don’t think I’ll be going to Queens for supplies from now on, but I will say that it was a great shopping experience and shockingly inexpensive given the amount of stuff I needed.Swiss Meringue Buttercream
I started thawing layers yesterday, so they can be trimmed and torted, AKA sliced in half. Yes, each tier is going to have six thin layers because I am freaking crazy.Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Flash forward to today, when I am making a triple batch of each filling. I think this may be too much, but I’d rather have too much than too little. Plus, after a long day of cake assembly, leftover pudding is the kind of problem I’d like to have. I am also making a batch of simple syrup to brush over the layers. Dryness is a common wedding cake concern, and I am determined to counteract it!

My plan for tonight is to have all the tiers filled and wrapped tightly in plastic before I go to bed. This means that I’ll be able to get up and start frosting tomorrow. I am hoping to complete the top tier before I leave to attend the rehearsal luncheon, and then to complete the other two that afternoon.Swiss Meringue Buttercream
And speaking of frosting, that’s today’s recipe 🙂 Swiss Meringue Buttercream is a dreamy, fluffy bright-white frosting perfect for any occasion, but especially beautiful on wedding cakes. It’s made from whipped egg whites, sugar, and softened butter, so it’s airy and light, but has a rich, pleasing mouthfeel. I also like to add a little cream of tartar for stability (like in Lemon Meringue Pie) and a pinch of salt for flavor balance.Swiss Meringue ButtercreamSwiss Meringue ButtercreamSwiss Meringue Buttercream
If you feel like you’ve heard me talk about Swiss Meringue Buttercream before, you’re right—I posted a chocolate version a few weeks ago. That recipe is literally the exact same as this one, except that there’s no chocolate here and I reduced the salt slightly because there’s less sugar in this recipe overall. Basically what I’m saying is that if you can make that recipe, you can make this one, and vice versa.Swiss Meringue ButtercreamSwiss Meringue Buttercream
I’m using Swiss Meringue Buttercream not only for its aesthetic beauty and flavor, but because the egg white base means it’s less likely to melt than an American Buttercream, i.e. most of the frostings on this site. There’s still butter in there, of course, so melting during transport is a possibility, but the risk is much lower than it would be otherwise. I plan to have all the frosted tiers spend the night in the refrigerator, so they should survive the trek to Central Park just fine.Swiss Meringue ButtercreamSwiss Meringue Buttercream
The recipe I’ve written here is just to frost a 9-inch round layer cake, not a full-on wedding cake. I am not exactly sure how many egg whites I’ll need to make frosting for all three tiers, but I have two dozen in my refrigerator, ready to go. That should be enough to leave some for piping a border at the base of each assembled tier. If it’s too much, Swiss Meringue Buttercream keeps well in the refrigerator and can even be frozen! It just needs to return to room temperature and be whipped again before use. Easy peasy.Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Whew! That’s a lot of information for a Friday. Thank you all for the enthusiasm, encouragement, and general showing of support during this exciting and challenging project. Please send me some good vibes this weekend! I’ll be documenting it on my social media and do a full post-cake rundown next week.

In the meantime, have you ever made a wedding cake? Got any tips?Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
makes enough to fill, frost & decorate a 9-inch layer cake

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar*

Egg whites will not whip properly if they are not treated well. Before beginning, please ensure that all equipment used in this recipe is very clean and dry. I like to wipe down the bowl(s), whisk, and mixer attachments with vinegar before starting the recipe. There is no way to salvage this recipe if the egg whites are contaminated with oil, yolk, or even water.

Cut butter into 16 one-tablespoon pieces. Set aside.

Fill a small pot with 1-2 inches of water. Set a very clean, dry heatproof bowl over the top, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Remove bowl and bring water to a simmer.

Combine egg whites, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl. Place bowl over simmering water and whisk frequently until sugar dissolves. Test for readiness by rubbing a drop of the mixture between your clean, dry fingertips to feel for granules. Remove bowl from heat and wipe off the bottom to remove any condensation.

Use a very clean, dry electric mixer (preferably a stand mixer) with a whisk attachment to beat egg white mixture until room temperature and doubled in size, about 7-10 minutes. At this point, the mixture (a meringue) should hold stiff peaks and be glossy.

Add butter 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing to combine. Buttercream will probably curdle before re-forming; this is normal. Continue to whip until it thickens and becomes airy and frosting-like. If the buttercream is taking a long time to thicken, it may be too warm. Simply pop the bowl in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before whipping again. Swiss Meringue Buttercream is ready when it goes from being runny to being fluffy.

Leftover frosting will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Let come to room temperature and whip until fluffy before using.

Note:

There is no substitute for cream of tartar. It is mandatory for this recipe.
Swiss Meringue ButtercreamLet’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 2

Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream PieOutdoor entertaining season is so close, I can taste it…and it tastes like Banana Cream Pie.Banana Cream PieCold and creamy, with a soft banana-scented filling and a crumbly, buttery Nilla Wafer crust—it’s basically everything that’s good about banana pudding, made from scratch and layered into a pie plate.Banana Cream PieThis pie is a little kitschy and very retro—the sort of dessert that everyone forgets they love until they are presented with it…and then they fall in love all over again.Banana Cream PieBanana Cream PieI defy you to find a warm weather occasion that can’t be improved by Banana Cream Pie.Banana Cream PieBanana Cream PieRooftop cookout? Banana Cream Pie for dessert. (Pro Tip: this is especially good on nights that involve fireworks.)

Birthday? Banana Cream Pie > cake. Well, most cake.Banana Cream PieBanana Cream PieBeach weekend? Don’t forget a box of Nilla Wafers.

Picnic in the park? If you can find a way to keep it cold, absolutely.Banana Cream PieBanana Cream PieNetflix and chill…and Banana Cream Pie.Banana Cream PieTrust me. This is a pie capable of winning you new friends.Banana Cream PieBanana Cream PieI mean, I don’t know about you, but if I come to a gathering and someone has made Banana Cream Pie, I want to find that person and make them my friend.

It’s always good to have friends that make pie.Banana Cream PieBanana Cream Pie
makes one 9-inch standard pie

Crust:
60 Nilla Wafers*
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
2 medium bananas, thinly sliced, divided
2 teaspoons lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar), divided
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
3 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Topping:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2-3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Nilla Wafers (optional)
banana slices (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Make the crust. Place Nilla Wafers in the bowl of a food processor and process until no large pieces remain. Add light brown sugar, melted butter, and salt. Process until the mixture resembles wet sand, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch standard pie plate and use clean hands to press the mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Cool it on a rack while you prepare the filling.

Thinly slice 1 banana and toss it in 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Line the cooled crust with banana slices. Set aside.

In a medium-large saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Place the pan over medium-high heat. Whisking constantly, pour the milk into the dry ingredients. Continue to whisk until the mixture boils for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low.

Whisk egg yolks with a fork. Remove 1/3 of the warm milk mixture from the pot. Whisking constantly, slowly pour milk mixture into the egg yolks until completely combined. Add egg yolk mixture to the pot and turn heat back up to medium-high. Continue to whisk until mixture boils for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in vanilla extract and butter. Pour filling into prepared crust.

Slice remaining banana and toss in remaining teaspoon of lemon juice. Arrange slices over the top of the filling. Cover the pie with plastic wrap, pressing so it adheres to the surface, and chill for at least four hours or overnight. Bananas will brown a bit.

Make the whipped cream. In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. Use an electric mixer to whip cream until stiff peaks form. Remove pie from refrigerator and top with whipped cream. Slice and serve pie, topping individual slices with Nilla Wafers and banana slices immediately before serving, if desired.

Pie will keep covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Note:

I use boxed Nilla Wafers for this recipe and recommend that you do, too. I have not tested this recipe with my homemade Vanilla Wafers. If you do, please let me know how it works out.