Banana Cream Pie

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 I made these for a family party last night for my husbands BANANA CREAM PIE
Is there ANYONE–who doesn’t love Banana Cream Pie? Not sure if I know of anyone–except the Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond) and she hates bananas. I made these for a family party last night for my husbands “??” birthday. This is the best recipe I have ever used. I have tried lots of them and always come back to this one. It’s an old one I got from the Lion House cookbook a looooong time ago and I made some adjustments that made the steps easier. Go ahead–make this for your Easter dinner.

One 8-9 inch baked pie shell

5 T. cornstarch
1 c. sugar
1/4 t. salt
2 1/4 c. half and half
1 c. milk
2 eggs

2 T. butter
1 t. vanilla
1 large banana

Beat eggs well in a large bowl. Set aside.

Mix cornstarch, sugar and salt in a heavy 3-quart saucepan. Add milk and cream and mix well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk until smooth and thick. Quickly pour about half of the hot mixture into the bowl of eggs. whisking thoroughly and constantly so the eggs don’t cook. Pour all back into the sauce pan and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla.

Slice banana into bottom of pie shell. Arrange slices evenly across the bottom. Pour the pudding mixture over the banana and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours until completely cool.

Garnish with whipped cream and more bananas on top if you like!!

Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham was named America’s most Outstanding Restaurant at the James Beard Foundation Awards in Chicago on Monday night. Highlands pastry chef Dolester Miles was also named best in the country, making the restaurant the runaway winner at the awards. A panel of chefs, restaurateurs, and food journalists gave chef and owner Frank Stitt’s modern Southern restaurant the honors. The other big winner of the night was Seattle’s Edouardo Jordan, whose JuneBaby was named best new restaurant in America; he was also named Best Chef Northwest for his restaurant, Salare. “People always talk about Portland [Oregon] as the Pacific Northwest restaurant city,” said Jordan. “But they’re like the cool kid with a new name every season. Seattle is showing we are an ongoing force.” He doesn’t credit the rise of Inc. for his restaurants’s successes, although owner Jeff Bezos has dined at Salare. “Seattle has always had big companies—Boeing, Microsoft. They come in and eat, but it’s the people in the city who are making it happen. They’re more engaged than anyone gives them credit for.” The James Beard Foundation Awards recognize restaurants, wine programs, chefs, designers, restaurateurs, cookbook authors, and journalists from around the country. The awards, established in 1990, have recognized industry leaders such as Union Square Hospitality Group’s Danny Meyer and Daniel Humm and Will Guidara of Eleven Madison Park. While it may not have been a good year for such famed restaurant cities as New York and San Francisco (which won only two chef and beverage awards, including Best Service at Zuni, and the Best Chef West winner Dominique Crenn), it was a very good year for women. Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune in New York was named Outstanding Chef in the U.S, and Missy Robbins of Lilia in Brooklyn was named Best Chef New York. Forty percent of this year’s nominees were female. Women won many of the major awards, including Caroline Styne, who was named Outstanding Restaurateur for Lucques Group in Los Angeles. Forty percent of the winners of the regional chef awards were women; last year, that number was 30 percent. For the first time, voters were encouraged to consider qualities beyond food, wine, and ambiance, including respect and integrity. This follows accusations of sexual harassment against such past Beard winners as Mario Batali and John Besh.

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