From the Editor: Please welcome Eve, CFH Customer Support Representative and Cultured Kitchen Keeper.
Potlucks are a big deal to me. I take them very seriously and always try to challenge myself. A friend decided to throw a pie potluck for their birthday. Luckily, I had just started the Australian Sourdough Starter and I’m not a huge bread person, so this seemed like a perfect time to put this starter to the test!
Here’s what I did…
Sourdough is perhaps not the first thing you’d think would go well in a pie crust recipe, but after trying it, I’m completely sold. The flavor of the crust is incredible and didn’t overpower the delicate filling at all! Organic bananas are very affordable and seem like they would go well with quasi-savory things. When matched with homemade pastry cream and Piima whipped cream, this pie was truly exceptional and reminded me of my Granny’s Vanilla Wafer Banana Pudding, but way less processed.
I used frozen butter to give it a tender, flaky crust. Once the dough has soured at room temperature for at least 7 hours, I placed it in the freezer for 5 hours to refreeze the butter (I would recommend less freezer time during this step). It may have been that the butter was too frozen, but the crust recipe was very crumbly and would not come together. I ended up adding six or seven tablespoons of water to the dough and it eventually worked out. Then I rolled it out (using a prayer candle because I don’t have a rolling pin) and threw it in the pan.
Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect or seems too crumbly. It consists of flour, butter, and sugar; you can’t go wrong! Just shove it in the dish, poke some holes in the bottom with a fork to let out steam, bake at 350° F for 20 minutes with weights or beans, and then about 10-15 more minutes without weights. It’s going to be fine. The Sourdough Pie Crust recipe makes a top and a bottom crust, so now I have left over pie crust. Kimchi hand pies anyone? (Look out for my next post: kimchi!)
While the dough refroze after souring, I prepared the pastry cream.
You could use any pastry cream recipe, but I loved this method:
- Slowly heat 1 1/2 cups half and half, milk, or cream, until it begins to steam. It should not come to a boil.
- Combine 4 egg yolks, 1/2 c sugar, 1/4 c flour, and 1/4 tsp salt while you are waiting for the dairy to heat up. When the half and half has warmed up, pour a little into your egg mixture and whisk thoroughly. Continue whisking the rest warmed half and half into the egg mixture, taking care to avoid making scrambled eggs.
- Then, place the mixture back into the pan, and continue whisking constantly until the pastry cream begins to thicken. You will begin to notice bubbles. It is best to mash the pastry cream through a strainer to remove any scrambled eggs that formed, but I skipped that step and it turned out great.
- Chill the cream with a piece of plastic wrap on top of the cream so a skin does not form.
To make Piima Whipped Cream I used:
- 1 cup cultured Piima Cream, cold
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 2 tbsp sugar
I froze my bowl and whisk and put my heavy cream in the freezer for 5 minutes. While these items were chilling, I mixed the Piima Cream and sugar together well. When I was certain that my items were very cold, placed the sugared piima cream in the freezer to chill while I whipped the heavy cream (by hand!). Once the heavy cream had good peaks, I gently folded in the chilled sugar and Piima Cream mixture together and set the whipped topping aside momentarily.
Once all of the ingredients were ready, I smoothed the pastry cream into the sourdough pie shell, laid down two bananas worth of banana slices on top of the pastry cream, topped the pie with the Piima Whipped Cream, and put it in the fridge to chill for several hours. It was a huge hit at the party!
Honestly after making Sourdough Pie Crust and Piima Cream Whipped cream, I’m not certain if I can ever go back to making pie crust or whipped cream without culturing ever again. Is there room for improvement? Always! But it was pretty close to perfect.
ps- See that Southwestern Shepard’s Pie in the 9×13″ next to the Banana Cream? I made that too. It has Sour Cream Mashed Sweet Potatoes! =]