Mrs. Johnston's Famous French Cream Pie
Bananas and almonds boost the smooth, creamy filling's lusciousness and give it a more robust variety of textures.
Yield: serves 6
Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1⁄2 tsp. sugar
- 1⁄4 cup shortening, chilled
- 5 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1⁄4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 bananas, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 tbsp. sliced almonds, toasted
- In a food processor, pulse the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the shortening and butter and pulse until only pea-size pieces remain. Drizzle in 3 tablespoons ice-cold water (or up to 2 more as needed), and pulse until dough looks crumbly but holds together when pinched. Remove; form into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 1 hour or up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 425°. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into an 11-inch round (sprinkle the surface and rolling pin with more flour as needed). Transfer the dough to a standard (not deep) 9-inch pie plate. Gently press it into the plate and trim excess.
- Prick the dough with a fork 8–10 times and chill for 10 minutes or until firm. Put a sheet of parchment paper over the crust and fill with dried beans or pie weights.
- Bake until lightly golden and beginning to set, about 15 minutes. Remove the pie weights and parchment paper and bake 10–15 minutes more. Remove, transfer to a rack, and let cool.
- Using an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until thickened slightly. Add the confectioners sugar and vanilla and continue whipping until medium peaks form.
- Fill the crust with a third of the cream. Top with the banana then half of the remaining cream, spreading to distribute and create a dome shape.
- With a star-tipped piping bag, pipe the remaining cream into small spirals in a single layer around the pie's edge (do not cover the crust).
- Chill the pie for at least 2 hours or up to 8. Top with the toasted almonds. Pie is best served the day it's made.