Beecher-Family Summer Camp


My husband plays this bass, bass guitar and some keyboard, so he’s going to work on a camp song with Paul and James. See our camp t-shirt? I’m looking forward to a lot of fun. More photos to come this week in my column.


The banana cream pie recipe looks complicated, but really it’s just reading it step-by-step. And it’s worth it. Oh my, is it a great pie!

IMG_1468Banana Cream Pie

Pastry Crust
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, well chilled and cut into pieces
2-1/2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening, well chilled and cut into small pieces
About 3 tablespoons ice water

1 cup milk
4 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon dark rum
2 bananas
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup heavy or whipping cream

Prepare the crust: Combine the flour and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl. Cut in the butter and shortening with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture resembles oatmeal flakes. (I use a food processor). Gradually add the water, mixing just until the dough holds together. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface.

Using the heel of your hand smear 1/4 cup of dough at a time across the surface to form a 6-inch-long strip. Gather the dough together and repeat two more times. Gather the dough into a ball, and flatten it to form a disk. Wrap dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate it at least one hour or overnight.

Position a rack in the center of oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to form a circle 12 inches in diameter. Mold the dough into a 9 inch pie plate. Trim the dough. Crimp to form a border. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork. Mold a sheet of aluminum foil against the bottom and sides of the crust and fill it with dried beans or pie weights.

Bake the pie shell for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and weights until the crust is a light golden color 12 to 15 minutes more. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Filling: Heat the milk in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat just until scalded. Remove from heat. Beat the egg yolks with electric mixer on medium speed and gradually add the sugar. Continue to beat until the mixture is thick and pale yellow, 3 to 4 minutes. Then beat in the flour. On slow speed, gradually pour in the hot milk.

Transfer the mixture to a medium size saucepan and cook stirring constantly, over med-high heat. The mixture will start to thicken and appear to be lumpy. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil, stirring the entire time for one minute. Remove the pan from heat and continue to stir until the mixture is smooth. Then beat in the butter, a few pieces at a time. Stir in cinnamon and rum. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.

Peel the bananas, slice them paper-thin, and toss them with the lemon juice. Whip the cream until it’s firm but not stiff. Mix about 1/4 of the whipped cream into the cooled egg mixture to lighten it, then fold the remaining cream into the egg mixture. Finally, drain the bananas and fold them into the mixture.

Fill the pastry shell with the banana cream mixture and spread it out evenly. To garnish the pie, whip the cream until it starts to mound, and then gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and the rum. Spread, or use a pastry bag to top off the pie with the whipped cream. Tent with foil and refrigerate until serving.