Recipe for Banana Cream Pie


3/4 cup sugar (+ 2 tbs)
3 tablespoon cornstarch (+ 1 tsp)
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks; beaten
1 1/2 cup half and half
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 medium bananas, peeled
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 9-inch pie shell, baked
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted


Combine sugar, cornstach, and salt in a heavy saucepan; stir well. Combine egg yolks, half-and-half, and milk and beat until blended. Gradually stir into sugar mixture until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil 1 min, stirring constantly. Transfer to a glass bowl; stir in butter and vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap and cool to room temperature. Slice one banana and toss with 1 tsp lemon juice to prevent browning. Arrange the sliced banana in the bottom of pastry shell. Pour cooled custard over banana, cover, and chill until firm. Beat whipping cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread over pie filling. Slice remaining banana and toss with remaining 1 tsp lemon juice; drain juice, if any, and arrange on top of pie.

COCONUT CREAM PIE: Prepare just like the Banana Cream Pie, omitting bananas and lemon juice. Instead, stir in 1/2 cup flaked coconut and 1 tsp coconut extract with the butter and vanilla. Top pie with toasted coconut.

YIELD: one 9-inch pie

NOTES : This is my favorite pie. It's so sweet your hair will stand up on your head.

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