Sometimes when ya gotta have pie, ya just gotta have pie! I think you know what I mean. Maybe it’s one of those late night episodes on TV, when the detective sits on a stool at the counter in a late night diner, sipping his cup of black coffee, and his partner says to the blond, gum chewing waitress, with the pencil stuck behind her ear: Could I get a piece of pie, please?
That’s it! He just pulled the trigger and shot you right in the brain with a pie bullet! Before, you were thinking sleep, but now…!!! Gimme a frapping fork and a glass of milk!
You’ve got my empathy, but more than that, now you’ve got my recipe. Simple, quick, if you use a pre-made crust, which of course I don’t because pie crust is one of those holy of holies that take me back to the happy days of childhood, the intoxicating aroma of my momma’s kitchen, and the soft tones of her voice as she explains how to make her pie crusts.
See, now I’m having sensory overload, between a detective creasing a mile high pie with his fork, and boyhood dreams of my momma’s kitchen.
I’m just sayin’ it ain’t my fault! I gotta have some pie!
For the crust: If you’re in a hurry, use (my throat is clogging up as I write these words) a frozen, store bought piecrust.
But, if you’re a kitchen hero, as I am, you’ll make your own crust.
1 ½ Cups all-purpose flour (plus a little when you roll it out)
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt (I use kosher salt) *
1 stick, plus 4 ounces of cold butter
3-5 Tablespoons cold water
Put the flour, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Cut up the butter and add it to the bowl. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add three tablespoons cold water and mix with a fork. Not moist enough? Add another tablespoon or two of water. Just make sure you have workable dough, but not soggy.
Form the dough into a ball, then press it flat with your hands. I do this on a wide piece of plastic wrap, with the dough mashed down the about as thick as my finger. Wrap the pancake of dought with plastic wrap and put the it in the refrigerator for an hour to chill. Heat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC)
Remove the dough from the refrigerator, dust your counter top with flour and roll out the dough into a thin crust.
Fit the raw crust into a pie plate and crimp the edges. Take a fork and pierce the bottom of the crust a few dozen times. Don’t be shy. This will keep the dough from bubbling up while it bakes.
Slap the piecrust in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is golden.
Allow the piecrust to cool to room temperature.
For the filling:
2 Cups whipping cream
¼ heaping cup of confectioners sugar
1 generous splash of real vanilla extract
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
A handful of whole almonds, roughly chopped
Whip the cream until it starts to thicken, then add the sugar and vanilla extract and continue to whip until the peaks are fairly stiff.
Put the chopped almonds in a small pan, along with a pat of butter. Stir occasionally, until you can see and smell the toasting almonds. Remove from heat, put the almonds on a plate and allow to cool.
Puttin’ it all together:
Cover the bottom of the cooled crust with slices of banana. Fill the pie with the whipped cream. Scatter the toasted almonds over the top and place in the refrigerator until the pie is chilled, about half an hour. Ready to eat!
Don’t like bananas? Feel free to slice fresh strawberries, ripe pears, or any other fruit that crosses your hungry mind.
If you use a commercial crust, this pie will take about 45 minutes to make. Takes me a bit over an hour if I make my own, but that includes a fair amount of cooling/chilling time, during which I am able to sit on my couch with a brandy and watch the detective finish eating his pie.
* How can salt be kosher? It’s not, but it’s a coarse grind that’s used to cure kosher meat.