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CULINARY SOS

Sure to satisfy your cravings

March 31, 2004|Cindy Dorn | Times Staff Writer

Dear SOS: I am pregnant and the only thing that I am craving is Clementine's banana cream pie. They don't make it every day and I would love to have the recipe. Is there any way that I can get it?

Devvon Hinds

Culver City

Dear Devvon: There's a generous amount of fluffy filling in this pie, so don't try to make it with a ready-made crust -- it won't fit. Instead, use your favorite graham cracker crust recipe for a 9-inch pie. We used the one in "The New Doubleday Cookbook."

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Clementine's banana cream pie

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Total time: 40 minutes plus chilling time

Servings: 10 to 12

Pastry Cream

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 1/4 cups sugar

4 egg yolks

2 eggs

2 cups milk

1/2vanilla bean, cut in half, seeds scraped out but retained

4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

1. Sift together the cornstarch and sugar.

2. Combine the egg yolks and eggs in a separate bowl and set aside.

3. In a heavy bottomed saucepan combine the cornstarch and sugar. Stir in the milk and the vanilla bean with seeds. Heat the mixture to a simmer, stirring, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the vanilla bean.

4. Pour a little of the hot milk mixture into the eggs and whisk to combine. Return the egg-milk mixture to the saucepan and whisk to combine. Heat to a simmer again. Continue to cook over low heat until the mixture thickens, about 1 minute.

5. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter until it is fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Strain into a bowl, then cover the surface with plastic wrap. Cool completely in the refrigerator.

Assembly

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup creme fraiche

3 cups (1 recipe) pastry cream

3 1/2 medium bananas, sliced about 3/8-inch thick

1 (9-inch) graham cracker pie crust, baked

1. To make the filling, whip together the heavy cream and creme fraiche until soft peaks form. Stir the pastry cream until smooth. Fold one-half cup of the whipped cream into the pastry cream.

2. Line a baked graham cracker crust with one layer of sliced bananas. Reserve one-half banana to garnish the top, then fold the remaining banana slices into the filling.

3. Spoon the filling into the pie crust and top with the remaining whipped cream. Arrange the reserved banana slices on top. Serve chilled within 24 hours.

Each of 12 servings: 435 calories; 5 grams protein; 50 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 25 grams fat; 13 grams saturated fat; 165 mg. cholesterol; 162 mg. sodium.

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