La What Now?

Since the 1960s, baseball teams and players have been publishing cookbooks. I collect them and try out some of the recipes that major leaguers have shared with their fans over the years. Photos, recipes and comments included.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Banana Cream Pie and Graham Cracker Crust - Harold Baines (Outfielder)

Finely roll 1 individual pack of graham crackers (about 1 2/3 cups).  Pour crumbs into bowl.  Add 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup softened butter.  Blend well with fingers.  Pour crumbs into 9" pie plate.  Set an 8" pie plate on top to press.  Take off.  Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes.  Cool rack.  Fill with favorite filling.  A little reminder - you could also buy the already made dough crusts to bake your banana cream mixture in.  They're pretty good but if you like to make your own crust, I'll gladly give you my favorite recipe.
Also, vanilla pudding mix (either instant or other) can be a makeshift cream filling for the banana cream.  Just a thought.
Mix in saucepan:
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tbls. cornstarch
1 tbls. flour
Gradually stir in 3 cups milk.  Cook over moderate heat stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils.  Boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Slowly stir half the mixture into 3 egg yolks (slightly beaten).  Then blend into hot mixture in saucepan.  Boil 1 minute more, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.
Blend in:
1 tbls. butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Cool completely.  (To keep from hardening, place wax paper directly on top.)  Pour in 2 bananas (cut up).  Can also layer bananas with pudding.  Chill thoroughly.  Sprinkle with crushed graham cracker mixture, coconut or fresh strawberries.
Today we have this dalashous dessert recipe from Harold Baines, who is being fêted with his very own 1983 throwback bobblehead this coming Saturday, April 27 at US Cellular Field.
Baines is a White Sox legend, not the least for his longevity with the organization.  He was drafted in 1977 (after being spotted while playing little league ball by Bill Veeck some years before) and made his White Sox debut in 1980.  As part of the 1983 AL West Division winning team, Baines hit .280 with 20 HRs and 99 RBIs.
The sweet swinging right fielder would play all or part of 14 seasons over three stints with the White Sox.  His number 3 was famously retired by the Sox while Baines was still an active player, and he remains with the club presently as assistant hitting coach.
I was really looking forward to making this recipe, and it turned out pretty good.  The only hitch was that after all the boiling and pouring, the pie did not want to set - it remained a liquidy/goopy thing, rather than firming up.
Checking online, I learned that this happens to many a frustrated home cook.  The best advice seemed to be: if your banana cream pie won't set in the fridge, throw it in the freezer.  Presto!  Frozen banana cream pie!
So that's what you see in the photo above.  Naturally, the pie had to be taken out of the freezer and thawed for a bit before it could be enjoyed, but it was definitely enjoyable.  I think some extra cornstarch might help it set next time, but that's just my own theory.  Harold would whisper a few instructive words in my ear, were he here. 
FINAL SCORE - Dalashous!

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