Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Need Help with Banana Cream Pie Filling

I recently received this request and not being the best baker in the world...well, I'm hoping some of you will give us some pointers.

Here's the question....


I enjoy cooking and baking. Recently, I made my first attempt at baking a pie from scratch. It was a Banana Cream Pie. I followed the recipe and the only problem with it was that the filling did not set, in spite of refrigerating it over night.

Can you offer any opinion or provide insight as to what went wrong? Could you suggest any solutions so I can bake it correctly in future? Please forward your advice and suggestions, so I can bake future pies better .

And here's my response...

Hopefully I can help, but I must say up front that baking is not my forte - I'm too impatient. That's why I stick to things that don't need much TLC. That said, I love Christine Cushing and that Banana Cream Pie sounds awesome.

I went to my favorite baking guide - favorite because she spells things out for baking novices - Dorie Greenspan...the book - Baking - From my Home to Yours. The custard and pie shell for my Blueberry & Minty Custard Tart are from her book and it was the first time I had flaky crust rather than one hard as a concrete.

Anyway...I digress...the bottom line for custard making is patience...lots of patience and lots of whisking without stopping to let the custard aerate. Pour the milk into the yolk mixture very slowly to incorporate it without curdling or clumping. Continue to
whisk until the custard comes to a boil over medium heat. Then continue to whisk
for 1-2 minutes before taking it off the heat. Let it stand for at least five minutes before proceeding. She whisks in butter in her recipe, but I would just follow Christine's recipe.

I think the problem is simply not whisking long enough during the "cooking" and not letting the custard completely cool before step 9 - folding the custard into the banana filling.
So now I'm looking for more tips from you to help us keep our custard from being runny.

Please email me any of your kitchen questions, and if I don't have the answer, I'll certainly try find it for you.

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1 comment:

Norene Gilletz, Cookbook Author said...

What did you use for the custard mixture? If it was instant pudding, it never sets firmly enough. Cooked pudding has to be brought to a full boil, stirring often. If you overcook it, the cornstarch mixture breaks down and it won't set properly.

Norene Gilletz
Cookbooks/Culinary Consultant
Toronto, Canada