Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Cream Pie for a Good Cause

At first glance this pie looks like a pretty yummy French Silk pie, at least that is what the auctioneer thought when he went to auction it off Sunday night for our church’s youth group dessert auction.  I had Andy run up and make sure he knew it was a Chocolate Banana Cream Pie.   You see, I omitted the bananas on the top – the hint of what might lie beneath the mountain of whipped cream.
When a friend asked if I would bake for the auction – I knew I had to try a few things I hadn’t done before – why not?  It’s so boring to make the same ol’ stuff.
This Chocolate Cream Pie was really easy, but I opted for a homemade crust for the pretty factor.  I am lousy at home made crusts, but Aldi?  Makes a dang fine crust.  Sadly whoever bought this pie had to deal with my sad attempt at a homemade crust. 
In the end our church’s youth group raised a bunch of money and that was the point!  It was fun to see people bidding for food – seemed better than bidding for livestock.

Perfect Pie Crust
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup well-chilled Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening
3 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water
BLEND flour and salt in medium mixing bowl.
CUT chilled shortening into 1/2-inch cubes. Cut in chilled shortening cubes into flour mixture, using a pastry blender (or food processor) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some small pea-sized pieces remaining.
SPRINKLE half the maximum recommended amount of ice cold water over the flour mixture. Using a fork, stir and draw flour from bottom of bowl to the top, distributing moisture evenly into flour. Press chunks down to bottom of bowl with fork. Add more water by the tablespoon, until dough is moist enough to hold together when pressed together. (You can do this step in a food processor too.)
SHAPE dough into a ball for single pie crust. Divide dough in two for double crust or double deep dish crust, one ball slightly larger than the other. Flatten ball(s) into 1/2-inch thick round disk(s).
ROLL dough (larger ball of dough for double crust pie) from center outward with steady pressure on a lightly floured work surface (or between two sheets of wax or parchment paper) into a circle 2-inches wider than pie plate for the bottom crust. Transfer dough to pie plate by loosely rolling around rolling pin. Center the rolling pin over the pie plate, and then unroll, easing dough into pie plate.
Trim edges of dough leaving a 3/4-inch overhang. Fold edge under. Flute dough as desired. Bake according to specific recipe directions.
Two Methods for Pre-baking Pie Crusts (Cream Pies):
-Pre-baking without weights: Thoroughly prick bottom and sides of unbaked pie dough with fork (50 times) to prevent it from blistering or rising. Bake crust in lower third of oven, at 425°F, 10-12 minutes or until edges and bottom are golden brown.
-Pre-baking with weights: Thoroughly prick bottom and sides of unbaked pie dough with fork (50 times) to prevent it from blistering or rising. Chill or freeze for 30 minutes. Line pie dough snugly with foil or parchment paper. Fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes. Remove foil and weights. Reduce oven to 350°F. Bake 5-10 minutes or until edges and bottom are golden brown.

Chocolate Banana Cream Pie
1 Pie Crust, baked (store bought or above)
1 large box chocolate instant pudding (6 serving pkg.) (or for super chocolate - 2 small boxes)
1 small box banana instant pudding (4 serving pkg.)
4 C. cold milk
1 pint heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp. sugar

Combine both boxes of pudding mix with cold milk and whisk until smooth. Stir for 1 more minutes then pour into cooled (and baked) pie crust.
Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes to an hour.
Whisk heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form, then add sugar (granulated or powdered sugar) and stir for 30 seconds more.
Cover pie with whipped cream, sprinkle with chocolate flakes and top with banana slices (if desired). Store in refrigerator.

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