Sunday, the day for family and the day to hang around the house to be simultaneously lazy and semi-productive.  This could even mean being productive in pajamas:)  My favorite Sunday is one that includes friends coming over, the kids running around, Tony hanging around and me in the kitchen cooking and chatting with a friend or two sitting at my kitchen counter.  The dinner menu varies but I love to make a decadent and homemade dessert every time.  A favorite of my husband and my father’s is Banana Cream Pie.  It’s so easy to make and it is the perfect ending to a long, lazy Sunday meal.

I will make a from-scratch crust but I usually just use a Pillsbury already made pie crust.  The recipe that follows is for a basic ‘cream’ pie and what makes it Banana Cream Pie is the addition of fresh bananas slices that line the crust before the filling is added.  This cream pie recipe can also be used for Coconut Cream Pie which would include 1/2 cup of toasted coconut stirred into the cream filling and another 1/2 sprinkled onto the top.  Chocolate Cream Pie is also in the cream pie group and would be made by including semisweet chocolate (@ 2 ounces) stirred into the cream filling as it is still on the stove.  I always top my Banana (or other) Cream Pie with homemade whipped cream which is cold heavy whipping cream beaten along with a tablespoon or two (to taste) of powdered sugar.  I always use the whole pint of heavy whipping cream because you really can’t have too much whipped cream!  So….

Make (or buy) and bake your pie crust.  Something I always do before I pop the crust in to the oven is an egg-white wash.  Just beat an egg white and with your fingers or a paint brush coat the bottom and sides of the crust. Over your sink, sprinkle the pie crust with sugar and then place it into the oven to bake.  This gives the crust and nice protective seal that will prevent it from getting soggy.

Cream Pie Recipe

Mix together in a saucepan:

3/4 cup of white sugar

2 tablespoons of cornstarch

@ a teaspoon of salt

Mix together separately:

2 1/2 cups milk

4 egg yolks

1/2 of a vanilla bean (scrape the tiny seeds into the mixture and discard the pod-they will blend in)

Add the milk mixture to the blended dry mixture over medium heat and stir for around 10-15 minutes until the mixture gets thick.   Then take it off the heat and add:

2 tablespoons of butter

Let the mixture cool for 10-15 minutes and then pour into your already baked pie shell.

If you are making Banana Cream Pie, place sliced bananas onto the bottom of your baked pie shell.  You could even get really fancy and caramelize them first by cooking them on medium high heat in a pan with brown sugar and unsalted butter.

Stick the pie in the fridge to chill for an hour or so and make your whipped cream.

Load the fresh whipped cream on top of your pie and add any garnish, if you wish, like toasted coconut (for sure onto the Coconut Cream Pie) or chocolate shavings.  Keep refrigerated until you are ready to serve.

Enjoy a slice or two!  It’s Sunday and we all deserve something sweet and soft in our bellies!