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All shook up. January 8, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in recipes, wit and wisdom.
Tags: , , , ,

Today, January 8, is the birthday of Elvis Presley. Our friend Ben and Silence Dogood are chagrined to say that this is the first year we’ve commemorated The King’s birthday here on Poor Richard’s Almanac. But neither of us grew up in households that played Elvis’s music or even acknowledged his existence (or demise), and until three years ago, when Elvis-loving friends introduced us to his music, it never occurred to us that he could actually sing. Shame on us for assuming that his pelvis-wiggling antics and rhinestone-weighted Vegas costumes were responsible for his fame!

What made us determined to note Elvis’s birthday this year was an invitation from some friends to attend a party this afternoon at their home to commemorate January 8, the date of the discovery of borax in North America.

Say what?! Surely there was something more appealing to celebrate on the 8th, namely, Elvis’s birthday. Okay, maybe you wouldn’t want to hire an Elvis impersonator or, ahem, watch one of his movies. But what about celebrating with a slice of Elvis’s favorite pie while putting a few of his CDs on? Silence can put on her blue suede boots and share the recipe:

Silence Dogood here. Elvis’s favorite pie, banana cream pie, is also one of ours. Here’s the recipe from The I Love Elvis Cookbook (Elizabeth Wolf-Cohen, Courage Books, 1998):

              Banana Cream Pie

Makes one 9-inch pie.

Dough for 1 piecrust or prepared piecrust, pressed into 9-inch pie pan

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

1 cup milk

3 egg yolks, well beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2-4 tablespoons superfine sugar, or to taste

2 medium ripe bananas

Lemon juice

Stir together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. (Note from Silence: My own family would never have used cornstarch, electing to cook the custard longer instead in the interest of better flavor and texture.) Gradually whisk in the cream and milk until well blended. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and reduce the heat to medium low.

Gradually whisk the beaten egg yolks into the hot mixture until well blended. Return the saucepan to the heat and cook until the mixture thickens and comes back to a boil, beating constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and butter. Pour into a large bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the filling to prevent a skin from forming. Cool, then refrigerate for about 1 hour, until just beginning to set.

Beat the whipping cream with enough sugar to sweeten slightly. Fold half the whipping cream into the chilled filling. Slice the bananas and cover the bottom of the piecrust with about half the slices, overlapping them if necessary. Pour the filling into the banana-lined crust and smooth evenly. Toss the remaining banana slices in lemon juice (to prevent browning) and arrange on top. Spoon or pipe the remaining whipped cream around the edge. Refrigerate about 2 hours, until set.

Forget borax. Give us banana cream pie any day. Happy birthday, Elvis!



1. Becca - January 8, 2012

Oh! That sounds lovely. We have some overripe bananas that need a job.

Good for you, Becca! Enjoy it!

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