[tps_header]My family truly embraces holiday traditions, and while cooking is generally a big part of our daily life, we are constantly in the kitchen during the holidays. We definitely do more baking this time of year than any other time; every year for Thanksgiving I bake seven different pies, complete with decorative crusts! I also enjoy preparing seasonal meals like roasts, and at this time of year, I love making recipes that incorporate pomegranate. Here are two of my most loved, tried-and-true holiday recipes:[/tps_header]
[tps_title]Over-The-Top Banana Cream Pie [/tps_title]
2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup mashed banana
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 pounds total), peeled, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
For crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and mashed banana in large bowl to blend. Add unsalted butter and stir to moisten evenly. Press onto bottom and up sides of 10-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes. Bake crust until set and golden, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.
For filling: In a sauce pan, whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt; stir in whipping cream and whole milk, then egg yolks. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add vanilla bean. Whisk over medium-high heat until mixture thickens and boils. Remove from heat. Whisk in unsalted butter and vanilla extract. Discard vanilla bean. Transfer to large bowl and allow filling to cool completely.
If needed, stir filling. Begin to spread the bottom of prepared crust with filling. Top with half of sliced bananas, then 1 cup of filling over the bananas. Repeat layering. Chill banana cream pie until filling is set and crust softens slightly, minimum of 10 hours.
(PIE from Ken Haedrich)