For our first challenge in the “Ladies Who Bake” group, our host chose the topic of “Pies”.

I was so wrapped up in deadlines at work, that I decided to create something that would be a little different and a bit simpler. I didn’t even get a chance to test out anything, so the first attempt is what ended up going to the event and I kept my fingers crossed that it would not be a giant mess!

I decided to make a cream pie. With the description of  “a graham cracker crust filled with sliced bananas and dulce de leche, topped with coffee whipped cream”… well, i figured I could not go wrong!

I followed the instructions, and it was a really easy pie to make. The only aspect of using the oven is to make the crust, everything else is pretty simple and will will probably take you about 35 minutes from start to finish. Here is the recipe I used:

For the Graham Cracker Crust:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
  • 9 graham crackers, pulverized into crumbs (about 1 cup cracker crumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and still warm

Make the Crust: In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and the granulated sugar. While stirring and mixing continuously with a fork, slowly drizzle the melted butter into the graham cracker and sugar mixture. Once you are done, all of the dry ingredients should be moistened and it should look like wet sand. Transfer the crumbs to a 9-inch pie plate and evenly press the crumbs into the pie plate. Bake the crust until it is fragrant and beginning to brown, 15 to 18 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

For the Filling:

  • 3 bananas, peeled and sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 14 ounces, dulce de leche

Organize the filling: Arrange the sliced bananas on the crust, then spread the dulce de leche over top of the bananas. If you are using canned dulce de leche, I found that it had a difficult time hardening even if you have it in the fridge for a while, and it makes it a bit messy to try to cut the slices of the pie.

For the Coffee Whipped Cream:

  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1½ teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the Coffee Whipped Cream: In a large bowl, whisk the espresso powder into the heavy cream until dissolved. Using an electric mixer, whip the cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until barely stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the filling and garnish with chopped peanuts and shaved chocolate, if desired, and serve. Cover leftovers with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

The final product was a tad overly sweet, but I still felt that it had potential to being tweaked a bit further to find a better style of dulce de leche to balance it out a bit better. My pie ended up winning the “best flavor” ribbon, so I was pretty thrilled about that. 🙂

Considering that the rest of the ladies presented some beautiful pies, I need to start practicing for our next challenge!

 

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