Do you have a birthday or a holiday to celebrate? Here is what I consider to be a rather complicated recipe that we just got done preparing for Easter Sunday dinner. You could keep it in mind for Memorial Day or the Fourth of July. But the results are worth it, I promise you. The meringue is melt in the mouth. And yes, you can really taste the bananas down to the last slice.
Ingredients for Baked Pastry Shell:
1 1/4 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c butter
4 to 5 tbsp cold water
In mixing bowl combine flour and salt. Add butter and stir until you have pea-sized results. Add 1 tbsp water and mix. Keep adding 1 tbsp of water at a time and mixing until dough is of proper consistency. Roll dough into a ball. Flour a large surface such as the granite countertop on the island in your kitchen or a large area of countertop space somewhere else. Of course make sure that it is clean and dry first. Use a rolling pin to create a circle of dough about 12 inches in diameter. Wrap the dough around the rolling pin. Let it slide down into your pie plate. We liked to use a dark Blue Bennington Potter pie pan. Not only is it decorative, it is of high quality and is not made with lead.
Push the dough down around the edges of the pan. This is called crimping. Cover it with aluminum foil and bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for another 5 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven. Set it aside to cool to wait for the meringue filling.
4 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 c sugar
Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until peaks start to form. Add sugar until peaks are stiff and sugar is used up entirely. It should be smooth to the touch.
pastry shell (separate recipe to be made first)
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c cornstarch
2 1/2 cups cream
1 tbp butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Four Egg White meringue (separate recipe, to be made first)
Combine sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in cream. Cook over medium high heat until the mixture thickens and bubbles. Reduce heat for 2 minutes more. Take off heat. Beat eggs. Mix 1 c of hot filling into yolks. Then add yolks to filling in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cook for 2 more minutes while stirring constantly. Stir in butter and vanilla.
Cut up three bananas in a single layer at the bottom of the pie shell. Pour filling on top of the bananas. Spread meringue over the filling evenly. Make sure the meringue covers the crimped pastry edge to seal properly. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool for 1 hour. Then refrigerate for 3 to 6 hours before serving. Just before serving you can cut up more bananas on top of the pie. After serving for dessert, you can refrigerate the pie up to two days for more delicious indulgences.