i know what you’re thinking. you’re envisioning one of those fake pies. well, that’s how i see them. the easy bake or no bake pies. a pie shell loaded with a sweetened strawberry yogurt and sliced bananas with some whipped cream fluffed on top. you know, the kind you see at the average church potluck. sweet and smooth, but not really exciting.
well, you should try to get excited.
because clearly, i am talking about the pink banana squash. yes, my very own take on the pumpkin sour cream pie found first in my new gourmet today cookbook from christmas.
oh the joys of pie baking. it is a composition, and a complex one at that. first, with the crust: the cold water, the beaded quality of the mixture smushing it all together, the resting in the fridge, the methodical rolling out. i used my great grandma meyer’s rolling pin. i felt really good, strong in that act.
then, the making of the soufflé. i didn’t realize how complex it all was– i guess not so much complex, but very procedure heavy. tara and i are reading east of eden out loud to each other (a really charming activity… again, it could be the english majors in us, but i don’t think so), and she read to me as i created my catastrophic cacophony: moving from double boiling the yogurt to hand whipping the squash, sugar, and egg yolks to pulling the crust out of the oven to beating the egg whites into stiff peaks.
really, once it was in the oven, i wasn’t sure it was worth it. i doubted my ability of crust making and of soufflé making, and was feeling really pessimistic about the whole ordeal. with the leftover pie crust, i made this baby tart filled with the butternut marmalade, and that was so good i questioned why i hadn’t just made individual tartlets (another good idea…). but, the pie was in, tara read on, and that was that. and tara read on.
the pie came out 40 minutes later, the pie crust golden, a kiss of brown on the far side of the pie. i was shocked at how much height this baby got in that oven. those egg whites had worked their magic and created quite the visual in the pie’s exit from the oven. but we couldn’t try it yet: the recipe requires it to col for 2 hours. well, folks, at this time it was already 11:30pm. and while i love to stay up and and eat, i was not quite in for that late of a night. so the pie waited on our dining room table till morning.
and OH the morning treat it was! i am not even a squash-filled, soufflé crazy kind of girl, and this was just delightful! all my roommates (some of them fellow non-squash pie-eaters) agreed. the squashy earthiness just tangible in the back of the tongue. the gentle warmth of the ginger and nutmeg. the light, sweet, custard melting in your mouth. and the crust, i must say, was pretty great. not my mother’s (i am still nervous to ever make my own crust because hers is SO GOOD), but solid.
so try your very own pink banana yogurt pie. you won’t soon forget it.
pink banana pumpkin pie
adapted from Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie in Gourmet Today
All Butter Pastry Dough for a single-crust pie (below)
1 1/2 cups yogurt (i used 1/2 skim fage and 1/2 skim regular)
1 1/2 cups solid-packed pink yogurt puree
3 large eggs, separated
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round. fit into pie plate, trim edges. crimp edge decoratively. my dough sat in the fridge for a 1/2 hour before this, so the dough was firm at this point. if you make the dough and do this step immediately, refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
2. put rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375.
3. lightly prick shell all over with a fork. line shell with foil and fill with pie weights (i used dried beans). bake until edges are pale golden and bottom is set, about 20 minutes. remove foil and weights and bake until bottom and sides are pale golden, about 10 more minutes.
meanwhile, for the filling
1. heat 1 cup yogurt in a large metal bowl set over a large wide pot of boiling water (helps to prevent curdling until warm, stirring occasionally.
2. whisk together squash, yolks, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup yogurt in a bowl until combined. whisk into hot yogurt and cook over simmering water, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard is thickened and registers 170 degrees fahrenheit on an instant read thermometer, about 6 minutes.
3. remove bowl from pot and cool pumpkin mixture in bowl set in a larger bowl of ice and old water, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
4. beat egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer until they just hold stiff peaks. fold 1/3 of the whites into pumpkin mixture gently, but thoroughly, then fold in remaining whites.
5. pour filling into cooled shell, smoothing top. bake until filling is set, 40-50 minutes.
6. cool pie to room temperature on rack, about 2 hours.
all butter pastry dough
1 1/ cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3-4 tablespoons ice water
1. whisk together flour and salt in a a large bowl.
2. blend butter wit your fingertips or a pastry blender or pulse in a food processor until most of the mixture resembles course meal with some small (roughly pea-sized) butter lumps.
3. drizzle 3 tablespoons ice water evenly over mixture and gently stir with a fork or pulse with a food processor until incorporated. squeeze a small handful of dough if it doesn’t hold together, add more ice water 1/2 tablespoon at a time, stirring or pulsing until just incorporated. DO NOT OVERWORK or dough will be tough.
4. turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gather into a ball, then flatten into a 5-inch disk. wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm.