A few weeks ago, I suddenly found myself in the mood for pie. I want to blame the mini apple crisps we posted a little ways back – the filling would be phenomenal for a full-sized pie – but, whatever the case, I thought maybe my seasonal clock was just out of whack. When I think pie, I automatically think of pumpkin, apple, ones with two pastry pie crusts. You know – pie pie! Then it occurred to me that not all pie needs be baked and served warm with ice cream dripping off of it. While there’s no sane reason to deny such a treat its day on the table, there are also chilled pies. Let’s just say, to every season – pie, pie, pie. Or something like that.
This recipe uses a really scrumptious crust with a surprise ingredient – curry powder. Before your eyebrows shoot right off your forehead, just go with it for a minute, ‘kay? We weren’t altogether sure of the curry either, but it really adds a special, wonderful twist to this recipe. And it smells phenomenal baking!
The crust is simply graham crackers, melted butter, brown sugar and the curry. We used regular ‘ole McCormick brand yellow curry, the kind that’s a little sweet without a lot of heat. You crush the graham crackers, mix it all up and pat, pat, pat into your dish. Bake! You’re done with the cooking part.
Did you hear me? No. More. Cooking. The rest is merely assembly and chill time.
Slice up a few of these. Use them all! No skimping. These will become the next layer in your pie.
Like so. Just keep layering the bananas till you’ve slice and used all four of them.
Whip up 8 ounces of regular cream cheese and some brown sugar. Gaze at it and think how yummy just those two ingredients taste together. Try not to dip in a spoon and taste it…too much.
We get by with a little help from our friends – this time, The Captain!
The Captain and the heavy cream meet up. Fluffiness happens. Lots and lots of spiced fluffiness. Spiced fluffy things are good things.
The cream cheese mixture and the fluffiness are folded together to create and even more awesome pile of awesome. It’s awesome. Really awesome. Like, super fluffiness.
And now for the finishing touch, some reserved crust gets sprinkled on. The curry mentioned above swings by for another boost of yummy aroma. We are lucky pie eaters.
If you practice the fine art of patience and chill this for an hour or two, you’ll get a refreshing pie that stands at attention when wedged and removed to a plate. Where your fork awaits to do your bidding. It’s going to be a grand day now, thanks to this pie. It got rave comments when I made a second one for work. Serve this with pride at any spring or summer gathering. Or office cubicle. It’s easy, refreshing, tastes phenomenal and – what else do you need?
Banana Rum Cream Pie
from Gourmet, March 2007
Prep Time: 30 minutes (plus chill time in fridge) Cook Time: 10 minutes Level: Easy Servings: 8
- 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs from 9 (4 3/4 – by 2 1/4-inch) crackers
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon curry powder (preferably Madras)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
- 1 cup chilled heavy cream
- 4 teaspoons dark rum
- 4 firm-ripe bananas
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
Stir together crumbs, butter, curry powder, cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons brown sugar in a bowl with a fork until combined well. Reserve 1 tablespoon crumb mixture for garnish and press remaining crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of pie plate. Bake crust 10 minutes, then cool completely in pie plate on a rack, about 20 minutes.
Beat together cream cheese, zest, and remaining 6 tablespoons brown sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
Beat cream with rum in another bowl with cleaned beaters at medium speed until it holds soft peaks. Gently stir one third of whipped cream into cream cheese mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whipped cream gently but thoroughly.
A note here from us: We found that adding that initial one third of the whipped cream didn’t make the mixture as light as anticipated. With our first pie, the cream cheese and initial one third whipped mix still tended to be heavy when folding in the rest of the whipped and it just wanted to stay on the bottom. When folding, make sure it’s all integrating. Fold firmly and make sure to pick up from the bottom of the bowl, but don’t over fold.
Thinly slice bananas and arrange evenly over bottom of crust. Spread all of cream filling over bananas, then sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over top. Chill pie, loosely covered, at least 1 hour.
The original recipe suggests chilling the pie for only about 20 minutes, but we realized this wouldn’t be enough time. We started by gradually checking on the pie by gently touching the creamy top layer through the plastic wrap cover. Once it was completely set, as in it didn’t give at all when barely touching it, we pulled it out and sliced.
I made a second pie for work and the next day when I brought it in, it still tasted great, so this is one you can make ahead. I wouldn’t make it more than one day ahead if serving guests, though, since the bananas, as they tend to do, will get more and more sweet and start to go fast.
Also? We used low-fat graham crackers for the crust! A (little) nod to health and all. It went great with all that creamy, fluffy filling. (Nod)