I’m what you might call a cookbook junkie. I find them irresistible, picking up old books at garage sales and new releases to pile beside my bed. I read through them like novels. Recently a new book called Simply Suppers: Comfort Food You Can Get on the Table in No Time Flat by Jennifer Chandler came across my desk, and it’s exactly the type of cookbook most of us find useful – loaded with easy recipes for comfort meals and healthy dinners. Think Baked Rigatoni with Sausage Meatballs and Spinach, Cheeseburger Pie, and Chicken, Caramelized Onion and Apple Pizza alongside easy but different dishes, like Shrimp & Grits and Fish Tacos. There are sides, and desserts. The small, square hardcover book even feels good in your hands, and stays open when you set it on the counter, open to the recipe you’re preparing. I have a copy to give to one of you.
To enter, leave a comment below and I’ll draw a name at random on Sunday, May 29 at midnight EST. With simple, easy-to-find ingredients and step-by-step instructions, even complicated recipes are made easy – this will surely turn into a well-used go-to cookbook.
Author Jennifer Chandler is a full-time mom of two little girls, a freelance magazine writer and graduated at the top of her class with Le Grand Diplome and a Mention Tres Bien in Pastry from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris! So I figured her banana cream pie would be an appropriate recipe to share.
Banana Pudding Pie
Reprinted with permission from Simply Suppers: Comfort Food You Can Get on the Table in No Time Flat by Jennifer Chandler.
2 cups vanilla wafer cookies, plus extra for garnish
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 ripe bananas
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1/4 cup granulated or powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat the oven to 325F.
To make the crust: in a food processor, finely grind the cookies. Add the sugar and pulse until combined. Slowly add the butter and pulse until incorporated and moist clumps form. Transfer to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the crust evenly into the bottom and up the sides. Bake until set, about 8 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the filling: in a medium saucepan, combine the cream, cornstarch, salt, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla. Over medium-low heat, cook, whisking continuously, until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Refrigerate for an hour, or until cooled completely.
Spoon half the cooled pudding evenly over the bottom of the crust. Peel the bananas and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. Create a layer of banana slices, reserving some for garnish. Spoon the remaining pudding evenly over the bananas. Place the pie in the refrigerator to set while making the topping.
To make the topping: in the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Spoon or use a pastry bag to pipe the whipped cream evenly over the pie filling. Chill until set, at least 4 hours. Before serving, garnish with the remaining banana slices and vanilla wafer cookies. Serves 8.