Calling all ConnectLocal baking gurus for a fluffernutter challenge!
Because yesterday was Jensen Ackles' birthday (some of you will understand the reference, for those of you who don't..well, PIE! says it all.) ... And because it is a rainy night in Georgia and we all need a little cheer, and also, because...bacon.. And last, but not least, because... PIE!
ConnectLocal takes no credit for this culinary masterpiece - that honor goes wholly and completely to authors Chris Taylor and Paul Arguin, who included this recipe in their cookbook, The New Pie.
If any ConnectLocal.News reader tackles this Elvis-inspired masterpiece, please share photos and a recipe review !
YIELD: ONE 9½-INCH DEEP-DISH PIE
1 9½ inch deep-dish pie crust blind-baked and cooled
FOR THE CANDIED BACON TOPPING:
4 slices thick-cut bacon
1 tbsp. light brown sugar
FOR THE BANANA PUDDING CREAM:
4 medium yellow bananas (it's okay if they have some brown spots)
1 cup whole milk
1⅓ cups heavy cream plus ¾ cup additional
¼ cup cornstarch
½ cup plus 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
¼ tsp. salt
2 large eggs
4 tbsp. butter cut into four pieces
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER MOUSSE:
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup confectioners' sugar
⅛ tsp. salt
½ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup heavy cream
⅓ cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped
FOR THE BROWN SUGAR MERINGUE:
3 large egg whites
⅔ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
⅛ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Make the Candied Bacon Topping: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Arrange the bacon slices on an oven-safe metal rack set inside an aluminum foil–lined sheet pan. Sprinkle the bacon evenly with the brown sugar, then place in the oven to bake until deep golden brown and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with a double layer of paper towels to drain (the bacon will crisp up once it begins to cool), then dice it into ½-inch pieces.
Start the Banana Pudding Cream: Peel and slice 2 bananas into 1-inch chunks. In a small saucepan, bring the milk and 1 cup of cream to a boil with the banana chunks. When the mixture boils, remove the saucepan from the heat immediately and let it cool completely before refrigerating until cold, at least 1 hour or overnight.
Pour the banana mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl (don’t press on the bananas; discard them after straining). Transfer the strained mixture to a measuring cup. Add enough additional cream to bring the mixture to 2 cups total, then pour into a medium saucepan.
Whisk the cornstarch into the banana-milk mixture. Whisk in the granulated sugar, salt, and eggs. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a gentle boil, whisking constantly to prevent the mixture from sticking on the bottom. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue gently boiling the mixture until it thickens, whisking constantly, for about 1 minute.
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla. Strain the mixture through a (clean) fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl. The mixture is thick so you might need to press it through the sieve. Press plastic wrap on top of the mixture and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours or up to 1 day.
Make the Peanut Butter Mousse: In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth, about 30 seconds. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar, salt, and peanut butter until combined.
In a separate medium-sized bowl, whip the cream on medium-high speed until it holds stiff peaks, 1 to 3 minutes. Fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture. Fold in the chopped peanuts, then spread this mixture evenly over the bottom of the cooled crust. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Finish the Banana Pudding Cream: Whip the remaining ⅓ cup cream in a small bowl on medium-high speed until it holds soft peaks. Rapidly stir the cold banana cream mixture with a spoon or electric mixer. It may seem a little chunky—that’s okay for now. Fold the whipped cream into the banana filling until no streaks of whipped cream are visible (the mixture should be smooth and creamy).
Slice the 2 remaining bananas into ¼- to ½-inch slices and place them in a medium bowl. Toss the bananas with the lemon juice, and drain off any pooled lemon juice in the bottom of the bowl.
Evenly spread ½ cup of the banana pudding cream over the peanut butter mousse. Arrange the banana slices in a single layer on top of the cream. Spread the rest of the cream into an even layer over the banana slices. Refrigerate the pie.
Make the Brown Sugar Meringue: Combine the egg whites, brown sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water to create a water bath, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Cook the egg white mixture over the simmering water, whisking constantly, until it reaches 160°F on an instant-read thermometer; the mixture will be very frothy and will increase in volume.
Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the mixture on medium-high speed until it holds stiff peaks and the outside of the bowl is completely cool, about 10 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Spread or pipe the meringue over the top of the pie.
Just before serving, sprinkle the candied bacon over the top of the pie.
Reprinted from The New Pie: Modern Techniques for the Classic American Dessert. Copyright © 2019 by Chris Taylor and Paul Arguin. Photographs copyright © 2019 by Andrew Thomas Lee. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.