This American banana pie is made with short crust pastry and topped with meringue. It is inexpensive and easy to make and it looks and tastes good.
6 oz. flour
½ teaspoon salt
3 oz. vegetable fat or lard
2 tablespoons iced water ripe bananas, peeled and cut into slices egg yolks
3 oz. castor sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 tablespoon butter
16 fl. oz. milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence or
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
3 egg whites
6 oz. castor sugar
2 tablespoons shredded almonds
Sift the flour and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the vegetable fat and with your fingertips rub it into the flour until it resembles coarse bread-crumbs. Add a tablespoon of iced water and mix and knead the dough until it is smooth. Add more water if the dough is too dry. Roll the dough into a ball, cover it and chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to fairly hot 400°F (Gas Mark 6, 200°C).
On a floured board, roll the pastry out and line a 9-inch pie tin. Put the lined pie tin in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
When you remove the pie-tin from the refrigerator, prick the bottom and sides of the pastry with a fork, line it with greaseproof paper and weigh it down with dried beans or peas. Bake the shell for 10 minutes.
Remove the greaseproof paper and bake for 5 minutes more, or until the shell is golden.
Reset the oven to cool 300°F (Gas
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Mark 2, 150°C).
To prepare the filling, beat the egg yolks in a medium-sized mixing bowl with a whisk or wooden spoon. Gradually beat in all of the sugar, salt, cornflour and butter.
Put the milk in a small saucepan and, over moderate heat, bring it almost to the boiling point. Pour the hot milk slowly into the egg mixture, stirring continuously. Place the bowl in a pan of boiling water and cook and stir the custard until it thickens. Cool the custard and then add the vanilla essence or nutmeg. Arrange the banana slices in the baked pie shell. Pour the custard over them.
Beat the egg whites in a small bowl with a rotary beater until they are stiff. Beat in one tablespoon of sugar and then fold in the remaining sugar. Pile the meringue on top of the custard and spread to cover the top completely. Sprinkle with the shredded almonds and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meringue is lightly browned.