Cream Pie, I have to say that it’s never been on my radar. Pie has always meant fruit to me, but that’s what this exploration is all about – learning and making and tasting. So in preparation I went to The Apple Pan in West LA and had a piece of Banana Cream Pie with GF producer Bob C. and the rest of the gang. Boy it was delicious! The crust was completely simple, just a vessel to hold the cream. The pastry cream was dense, with just enough vanilla and generously filled with banana. The whipped cream was just that much sweeter than the pastry cream to be a great foil and lightener to the whole.
So instead of attempting this classic I opted to vear off a little and go for the banana’s foster flavor Dorie Greenspan achieves by making the pastry cream with brown sugar and adding a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg. It was a landmark moment for me. I actually made pastry cream by dialing back the amount of cornstarch just a bit. It was easy and delicious. The kitchen smelled like Christmas with the mingled scents of vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in the air. But it was after 1am and I ran out of time. So I woke up, made whipped cream which I stabilized with a bit of honey and confectioners sugar. Packed it all up…the crust, the pastry cream, the whipped cream, a pastry bag and brought it to KCRW with the intent of having a DIY moment with the team. Then I realized that Russ Parsons, food editor of the LA Times was coming in and thought how fun if we could put the pie together….well together. So we did.