Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bananas Foster Cream Pie -- My Latest! It's a Winner!

Bananas Foster Cream Pie

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Caramel Sauce:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons cream
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons dark rum or ½ teaspoon rum flavoring (optional - I didn't use either, but rum is a traditional ingredient of Bananas Foster.)
1/2 cup Nestle La Lechera Dulce de Leche (caramel sauce)

2-3 bananas sliced
3 cups milk
1 large package (4.6 oz.) Jello Cook & Serve Vanilla Pudding & Pie Filling mix
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon banana flavoring

1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon for dusting

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a bowl mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter until well mixed. Pour into a 9″ pie plate and press it evenly into the pan.

Bake for 7 minutes and set aside to cool.

Stir pudding mix into 3 cups milk in medium saucepan. Add cinnamon and allspice. Whisk until blended and bring to full boil on medium heat, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and whisk in banana flavoring. Set aside and allow to cool somewhat while you prepare the caramel.

In a small skillet melt the butter and brown sugar over medium low heat. Allow it to come to a boil, turn the heat down to low and cook for 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream and optional rum or rum flavoring. Add cinnamon and Dulce de Leche and stir until the caramel has melted. Allow to cool slightly.

Slice two to three bananas and put one layer of the sliced bananas on the bottom of the pie crust. Pour the caramel evenly over the bananas and spread to completely cover bananas. Layer remaining banana slices on top.

Whisk the custard until smooth. Pour the custard over the bananas and caramel. Chill for at least four hours, but overnight is better.

 To finish the pie, whip cream until the cream begins to thicken. Add powdered sugar and continue beating until soft peaks form and the whipped cream holds its shape. Spread the cream over the cooled pie and dust with cinnamon. Chill for thirty minutes before slicing and serving.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sometimes I wonder if I should just have a pie blog??!!

I made this pie for a meeting at church last night. I was told that the pie was "orgasmic" and that everyone wanted to marry me!! I've never made this pie before and didn't even get a chance to sample it! I will definitely put it on my do again list and may even enter this one into a pie contest! I am giving you the recipe I found and noting any differences that I made to the recipe.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Pie

2 cups semisweet  chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups whipping cream divided
1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces
1 (9-inch) chocolate crumb piecrust (I made mine from scratch)
1 (21 oz.) can cherry pie filling (look for a deluxe version with lots of cherries)
1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
16 maraschino cherries with stems
2 cups whipped topping, thawed (I made real whipped cream)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Microwave chocolate morsels and cream in a small bowl on medium for 1 to 2 minutes or until chocolate begins to melt (I used a double boiler).  Whisk in butter until smooth. Let cool, whisking occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes or until mixture is a spreadable consistency.

Spoon half of chocolate mixture into pie crust. Cover and chill remaining chocolate mixture. Spoon cherry pie filling evenly over chocolate mixture in pie crust. Place pie on a baking sheet and set aside.

Beat together cream cheese, sugar, egg and almond extract at medium speed with an electric mixture until smooth. Pour evenly over cherry pie filling. (The pie shell will be full, but it will not overflow when you bake it.)

Bake fro 30 minutes or until center is set. Remove pie from oven and cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill for 8 hours.

Microwave reserve chocolate mixture at medium power for 1 minute. (Again, I used a double boiler). Stir until spreadable. Dip cherries in chocolate mixture and let them firm on a sheet of wax paper for 15 minutes before decorating pie. (Hint: Be sure to wipe off the cherries with a paper towel so that they are dry before dipping into the chocolate or the chocolate will not stick. I also put my cherries into the refrigerator to firm up.)

Spread remaining chocolate evenly over top of pie. Spoon 8 dollops of whipped topping around outer edge; place 2 cherries in each dollop. (I used real whipped cream and piped it on and then added the cherries--see picture. Makes for a more classy looking pie!! I got lots of "oohs" when I uncovered it last night).

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Kowalski Kare Package

I had to go in to have some minor surgery and was feeling a little blue about it so I had my sister, Barbara, in Michigan send me down a care package—10 pounds of Kowalski kielbasa, ring bologna and kiszka (blood sausage).

If you have any feelings about Detroit, check this book out if you get the chance. It is about families and about baseball, specifically Detroit Tiger baseball, The Final Season: Fathers, Sons, and One Last Season in a Classic American Ballpark (Honoring a Detroit Legend) by Tom Stanton. I loved this book, having picked it up at the Ft. Myers airport on a trip to Detroit. It was so sweet. It combined the story of a father and his son, with the story of the author and his Polish family in Detroit. And, of course, baseball, and the Detroit Tigers and their final season at Tiger Stadium at Trumbull and Michigan in Detroit. It had so many parallels with our own family including the eating of what we called Keeshka—the only reference to keeshka I have ever see in any book (except Polish cookbooks) I have ever read!

Genuine Kowalski Kiszka--direct from Detroit! Not even most Polish people like it but my brother and sisters and I inhale it.

Kiszka is an acquired taste. It is a combination of buckwheat, beef blood, finally ground pieces of beef and pork that you probably don’t want to know where it came from, onion and spices. We always had it for breakfast.

Kiszka “Keeshka” (Blood Sausage)

1 half ring Kowalski Kiszka
1/2 onion minced
2 tablespoons butter

Sauté onion in butter in frying pan until onion is translucent  Remove casing from kiszka. Cut kiszka into slices. Add to onion and butter.Stir occasionally until combined and browned.Serve with fried eggs and white toast.

Kiszka, eggs sunny side up and toast with butter and homemade strawberry jam--A breakfast fit for a Polish Prince!