Weeks #5 and #6 Pie Challenge Update

Week #5 of my pie challenge was a no brainer. We had apples coming out of our ears from our 3 trees so I made an apple crumb pie. I love the crumb topping once in a while when I just don’t feel like rolling out a second crust.

I didn’t take any pictures this time other than the finished product. Looks super yummy doesn’t it? The bottom crust was my standard pie crust that I posted about for the Maple Brown Sugar Apple Pear Pie. The apple filling in this recipe is really to your taste as far as how much sugar and/or cinnamon you prefer. The crumb topping is super easy and I really had never made a crumb topping until I had to make one for a pie one time at the bakery. I don’t know what took me so long to try a crumb topping but I am glad I did!

For the crumb topping I use a stick of butter, not too hard and not too soft, a cup of packed brown sugar and a cup of flour. I work the butter into the brown sugar and the flour until it resembles chunky sand. You don’t want it too finely worked into the dry ingredients but you don’t want big chunks of butter either.

Just spread the crumb topping over the apples in the unbaked pie crust and bake for close to an hour at 375 degrees or until the filling starts to get bubbly. Cool for at least an hour before serving (if you can stand to wait that long).

apple crumb pie

Week # 6 was Doug’s favorite Banana Cream. I was excited to try my old Betty Crocker Vanilla Cream Filling recipe with my newfound confidence of making the filling the way I had done the Mississippi Mocha Mud Pie. I had learned to make that filling by dumping the egg yolks in at the beginning of the process instead of adding them in slowly at the end like the older publications recommended doing. I couldn’t wait to try this new method with the old Betty Crocker recipe. Guess what? It worked out beautifully just like I thought it would! Woo hoo!

Here is the recipe from the old 1950s Betty Crocker Cookbook.

Vanilla Cream Pie for 9″ Pie

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch (I changed it from 3 Tbsps)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups milk (whole milk is best)
  • 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla

Measure out the milk and then pop it in the microwave for a couple of minutes just to bring it a little warmer than room temperature. Doing this helps to jump start the process instead of standing there stirring it for an extra five minutes.

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Using David Dial’s method in his blog Spiced add the dry ingredients in a saucepan and then add the milk and egg yolks to the dry ingredients using a whisk to combine. Heat all of the ingredients over medium heat, whisking constantly until it starts to boil.

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Once it boils, boil for about 30 more seconds taking care not to let it stick and burn. It will get nice and thick and custardy. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.

To prevent a skin from forming, lay a piece of plastic wrap right on top of the filling and chill until firm.

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To assemble the pie, slice firm bananas into the bottom of a pre-baked pie shell. Next spoon over the bananas the vanilla cream filling. Then either pipe on (if you want to get fancy) fresh whipped cream with a pastry bag or spoon the whipped cream on top before serving. Yum! I highly recommend David Dial’s Blog, Spiced. Here is a link to his articles Spiced Blog

Banana Cream Pie

I have been struggling to find good pie recipes. I am not sure why. Most are too sweet or involve too much chocolate which Doug isn’t a big fan of. Then I thought why am I limiting myself to sweet pies? Why not explore savory pies? Ah I got your attention didn’t I? Until next time! -MM