With Valentine’s Day on a Wednesday this year, that leaves more time after the actual holiday open for celebration interpretation. Whether you are heading out to dinner this weekend or whipping up something at home, there is always time for pie. Either your sweetie or the whole family will appreciate a 1950s-era pie that is creamy and sweet—and even includes some healthy fruit.
Homemade vanilla pudding is simply a matter of whisking hot milk into lightly beaten egg yolks, sugar, vanilla extract, and flour, and then cooking the mixture until it boils and thickens, says cookbook author Elinor Klivans, who created this recipe for Real Food. That is all there is to it! The only secret you need to know is that when the pudding comes to a boil, you should continue cooking it for another minute to ensure that the pudding has no taste of raw flour. You don’t even need an occasion to whip up a pie: Dessert memories are always sweet.
Banana Pudding Pie
Makes 8 Servings
11⁄2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (about 44 cookies)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
11⁄2 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1⁄2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 ripe bananas, sliced
4 large egg whites
1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1⁄4 cup sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter the inside of a 9-inch pie pan.
2. For the crust, mix the cookie crumbs, cinnamon, and melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the inside of the pan. Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 6 minutes.
3. For the vanilla pudding, heat the milk in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until it is hot and a few small bubbles form around the edge. Do not boil it.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and flour until smooth. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes until the mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. This ensures that the pudding will have no taste of raw flour.
5. Strain the pudding into a bowl, discarding any bits that remain in the strainer. Stir in the vanilla and cinnamon, and then stir in the banana slices. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the pudding, poke a few holes in the plastic wrap to let steam escape, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes while preparing the meringue topping.
6. For the meringue topping, preheat the oven to 375°F. Pour the banana pudding into the prepared crust, spreading it evenly. In a clean, large bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Slowly beat in the sugar. Spoon the meringue over the pudding, spreading it to the edges. Bake about 7 minutes, until the meringue is golden. Cool 20 minutes. Cover carefully and refrigerate. Serve cold within 2 days.
Nutrition info Banana Pudding Pie (per serving): Calories 321 (123 from fat); Fat 14g (sat. 7g); Chol 126mg; Sodium 124mg; Carb 45g; Fiber 2g; Protein 6g