Introduction: Banana Meringue Pie
Banana Meringue Pie: The lovechild of the notorious pies Lemon Meringue and Pumpkin... Also it has bananas.
Step 1: Ingredients
For the crust:
2.8 oz cold butter
3.75 oz flour (pastry flour, if you have it)
1/3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Some ice water (more on that later)
For the filling:
6 oz sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 bananas, pureed
1/2 cup milk
For the meringue:
6 egg whites
10 oz sugar
Step 2: Making the Crust
First, mix your dry ingredients (not counting butter) until everything's well dispersed. A note before we get into things: From here on out, the colder you can keep things, the better. It's perfectly okay, and preferable if you have the time and patience, to chill your ingredients and utensils before every step. And definitely let the dough rest between steps, in the fridge or freezer. Back to the directions; Next, using a pastry cutter or two knives, blend the butter into the dry mixture until your butter is about the size of rice. Then slowly add your vanilla and then your ice water, until the dough comes together. It shouldn't be wet, however, so just take it slow. Once that happens, let the dough rest a bit, then give it just a few kneads on a lightly floured surface, just so that it doesn't break too easily. Then chill it, roll it out to about 1/4 inch, and place it in your pie pan, an 8 inch one is preferable. Be careful not to break or stretch it. Trim the edges about 1/2 inch over the edge of the pan, and then roll that excess under and crimp however you like. Freeze it until it gets cold.
Step 3: Making the Filling
This filling is actually a modified pumpkin pie filling (a type of custard pie), just made with pureed bananas instead of pumpkin puree.
First, mix everything except the eggs in a food processor until well blended. Then add the eggs, pulsing the processor until they're incorporated, but not over mixing. We don't want any air to get into the eggs, if possible. Next, chill this mixture. Pour it into your pie dough, egg wash the edges, and bake it at 350 for 20-40 minutes, until the center of the pie sets. Then cool the pie so that it doesn't melt the meringue.
Step 4: Making the Meringue
Note: This is a method for a Swiss Meringue. You could also make an Italian Meringue if you had the know how and the inclination. I know a French Meringue (in which one just whips up sugar and egg whites) is easier, but this method is preferable if you want to avoid things like salmonella.
Begin by heating the egg whites and sugar, whisking gently, in a double boiler. Heat this mixture until it reaches 100 degrees, whisking moderately all the while. When the mixture reaches 140 degrees, remove it from the heat and whisk (or put into a mixer and put on medium speed) until medium-stiff peaks for. Transfer this to a piping bag (or just spread it out with a spatula) ASAP and pipe on to the top of your cold pie. To finish it, use a torch to brown the tops. Then, most importantly, cut and enjoy!
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