I'll bet you're looking at this scrumptious piece of pie and thinking...."I'll bet she served that over the Fourth of July holiday." Wrong. Didn't happen. That would have required a lot more effort than I put into my weekend entertaining!
I invited the BFF and her hubs to hang at the pool for the weekend and when she asked what she could contribute, I jumped all over that!! She's not exactly known for her prowess in the kitchen (she tells me her talents lie elsewhere.....I'm not asking!) but her father-in-law is one of those Southern grill masters that I don't even attempt to compete with, so I said, "Um, if your FIL is going to be doing any grilling, I'd love some of that!!"
He took the request so seriously that we ended up with two pork shoulders, two racks of ribs and about 5 lbs of smoked hot Italian sausage....for FOUR PEOPLE!!! Not only that, her MIL made SIDE DISHES and PIE! Woot!!! I didn't have to cook shizzle all weekend. When Mr. BFF picked up the loot from his parent's house, he was all concerned I'd be offended that his mom had done more than they were asked. I cleared that up for him very quickly! NOT offended. At all! Truth be told, I'M LAZY and I love other people to do all the work. ;)
So a serious thank you to the BFF's MIL and FIL for giving me an entire weekend off. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and the food was out of this world delicious. Those Southern men know their way around a grill and I'm forever a fan.
So yesterday I was feeling a tad guilty, plus that free Lemon Pie was all gone, so I dug into one of my favorite dessert cookbooks, Baked Explorations, and found this. It combines some of hubs favorite flavors....peanut putter, bananas and a hint of chocolate....into one creamy, delicious pie. And the vanilla wafer crust is to die for. Give this one a try.
Here's the recipe:
Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie
Baked Explorations, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
For the vanilla wafer crust:
6 ounces vanilla wafer cookies
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons sugar
For the banana pudding filling:
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
2 large egg yolks
1 vanilla bean
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 ripe bananas
2 tablespoons orange juice
For the peanut butter topping:
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla exract
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (do not use old-fashioned or freshly ground)
2/3 cup heavy cream, chilled
Preheat the oven to 350 deg. F and position the rack in the middle.
Make the vanilla wafer crust:
Place the vanilla wafer cookies, butter, and sugar in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until the mixture resembles a moist crunch. Turn the mixture out into your pie plate and press it into the bottom and up the sides. Using the back of a large spoon will help you to create an even crust.
Bake the crust until it is golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. If it begins to puff while baking, use the back of the spoon to press it gently down. Allow the baked crust to cool completely.
Make the banana pudding filling:
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Slowly, while whisking continuously, stream in the cream, then the milk. Add the egg yolks. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and, using the tip of the knife or a small teaspoon, scrape the seeds into the saucepan. Whisk until the mixture is combined. Discard the bean.
Turn the heat to medium-high and, whisking occasionally, bring the mixture to a boil, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the butter, and stir vigorously for about 2 minutes to release excess heat. Spread the warm pudding over the cooked crust and chill the pie until the filling is completely cool, about 1 hour.
After the filling has chilled, thinly slice the bananas on a diagonal. Toss the slices in the orange juice. Transfer the banana slices to a paper towel and pat them dry. Arrange them in a single layer over the pudding to cover it completely. Return the pie to the refrigerator while making the peanut butter topping.
Make the peanut butter topping:
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla and peanut butter, and beat until just combined.
In a clean bowl of a standing mixer, use the mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip the cream until soft peaks form. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, with a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture until the topping is uniform in color.
Spread the peanut butter layer evenly over the bananas on the pie. Chill for at least 3 hours or as long as 8 hours.
Garnish with more banana slices tossed in orange juice and/or chocolate covered peanuts. The pie tastes best if eaten within 24 hours, but can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 3 days.