Sunday, January 18, 2009

Heather Made Me Do It

I posted a comment about Ellie Krieger's cookbook on Heather's post, and she totally called me out, asking about the chocolate and banana cream pies. It just so happens that at the time she was typing that comment, I was wondering what to do with the ripe bananas that were in my fridge, and the open container of quick oats that need to be finished. Well, friends, I wish I could tell you I had the strength not to do it, but I caved. And made pie. ~sigh~

bananas layered over an oatmeal cookie crust

I have posted a few recipes on here that call for gelatin. If you really want to know what it is (and don't already), I'll leave you to that. I've avoided thinking about it when I make these desserts, not knowing an alternative. I did some research and it seemed that equal amounts of powdered agar (also labeled agar agar) can be substituted for gelatin (1x). Well, I couldn't find powdered agar, only agar flakes, which can be substituted in a 3x amount for gelatin (if a recipe calls for 1t, you'd use 1T, or 3t, of agar flakes). The catch being agar flakes are harder to dissolve. Why do I bring this up? Because the Banana Cream Pie recipe calls for gelatin, so I figured I'd give these agar flakes a try. Here's what I did...


Banana Cream Pie



Oatmeal cookie crust, made with whole wheat flour and 1/4c total turbinado sugar (instead of the brown sugar and natural sugar)
3T + 1.5t agar flakes
3T water
1/4c turbinado sugar
3T WW pastry flour
2 egg yolks
1.5c skim milk
1/2t vanilla extract (for some reason I halved this, don't know why, but I'd use at least 1t)
2 large bananas, sliced


Put the agar flakes and water in a small bowl or glass measuring cup and microwave 30sec to get the agar to start to dissolve. In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar and the flour. In a medium bowl lightly beat the milk and eggs together, then add to saucepan and whisk so flour and sugar dissolve. Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionallyuntil mixture comes to a boil and has thickened. Stir in the vanilla extract and agar mixture and continue to boil until agar completely dissolves. I let this boil for awhile and it didn't completely dissolve, not sure how to fix this, but I kep going...

Arrange the sliced bananas on the graham cracker crust and pour the pudding on top. Place in the refrigerator until the pudding has set, about 3 hours or overnight. Serve with fresh whipped cream, if desired. I did not, so I just enjoyed it in all its glory :) And how was Ellie's banana cream pie? I guess I didn't really make it... hehe


I couldn't tell that the agar wasn't completely dissolved by taste or texture, but you could kind of see it (click to enlarge the photo of the finished pie). It did set well enough, so it does seem like a good substitute, I'm just not sure if this was the way it's supposed to be or not. Feel free to chime in if you've used it for puddings!

I gave some to a friend of mine who reads the blog (Hi Rebecca!), so maybe she'll chime in with how she liked it :)

A couple more notes about agar:

--Acidic foods may require more agar (citrus, strawberries)

--Some foods may not work: kiwi, pineapple, fresh figs, papaya, mango, peaches, chocolate and spinach


Here are my sources:

http://www.vegsoc.org/info/gelling.html

http://www.foodsubs.com/ThickenGelatins.html

http://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/Agar.htm

40 comments:

Erica said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm I love bananas and an oatmeal cookie crust? Get in my belly ;) Enjoy your Sunday!

VeggieGirl said...

DIIIIIIIVINE!!!!

Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) said...

That pie...I want it...in my mouth...now! Gosh, that sounds amazing. Bananas, oatmeal crust, pudding?...um, YUM! Thanks for the info. on agar as I've always wondered about that stuff.

ashley (sweetandnatural) said...

Oatmeal cookie crust?! Amazing!

Reeni♥ said...

What a perfect combination of flavors! YUM!! I never knew what gelatin was made of until about a year or two ago. I try to avoid it at all costs, thanks for letting us know about the substitute.

Mrs. LC said...

Wow thanks for the info on agar, that is really good to know! And your pie looks like it came out wonderfully! I hope Rebecca enjoys her share! :)

Meg said...

Yummy! Looks delicious! I have been wondering about agar agar. I think I might give it a try!

Balance, Joy and Delicias! said...

woooooo..... so yummy and healthy! :D love the mix of flavors!

Dawn said...

geeeeeeez! Oatmeal crust? ohhh yeah!

biz319 said...

Yummy! What a great way to use up bananas other than making muffins or bread!

Every Gym's Nightmare said...

oh man- that sounds so good. and looks it too!

Kelly Turner
www.everygymsnightmare.com

The Peanut Butter Boy said...

It definitely looks a little different than pudding but if the taste/texture is similar enough then perhaps it is a good substitute after all. I've been meaning to try it but I can't seem to find it.

HangryPants said...

Ah yes, the gelatin. Now I remember why I never made either of her cream pies. Well, I am not sure it that is what it is supposed to look like, but who cares ... it looks amazing. I am glad I made you do it.

Darius T. Williams said...

Looks good - i need some of this!

Heather said...

ohhhh. that sounds incredibly delectible! i just adore bananas!

Esi said...

I've never used agar, but I know a lot of people use it as a gelatin substitute. The pie looks good though.

MacDuff said...

This is awesome! I honestly avoid all gelatins because I can't stand the source. I'm all about using the last little bit of the buffalo, but really. That is just beyond me.

This looks great, and I'll definitely try it.

Sagan said...

Ooh that looks really tasty, and not much sugar at all for a pie! I'll have to try that.

Mark said...

I like the recipe!

Rachel said...

Looks lovely. And I will continue to avoid gelatin. Thanks for sharing.

Lisa said...

Looks great. I have not tried agar yet but would like to.

BOBBI McCORMICK said...

i love banana cream pie saveing this recipe!

Ricki said...

What a great agar experiment! (And I couldn't see the flakes, even enlarged). I love the combo of bananas and creamy--yum!

Erin of Care to Eat said...

Great job Shannon! I've heard agar ca be tricky to work with and it looks like you nailed it!

Sara said...

This looks delicious - I've never used agar but want to try experimenting with it soon.

wholefoodswholeme said...

WOW!! honestly you never fail to stun me with your talent in the kitchen! i really need to start on the long list of to-do recipes i(ve bookmarked from your blog :)

Victoria said...

Thanks for the info about agar. I always only see the flakes too.

Rebecca said...

As the lucky recipient of a section of this pie, I just wanted to weigh in to say that it is DELICIOUS. Great banana flavor and the oatmeal cookie crust was a perfect pairing. Thanks, Shannon! Anytime you need independent verification of the tastiness of your recipes, you know where to find me. . . :-)

Foodista said...

Oooh! Delicious!

Maria said...

I am loving this pie! I wish I had ripe bananas, I better go buy some so I can try this!

Erica said...

OH MY GOSH! I got my goodies today! Thank you so so very much! You are the absolute best!

Dani Spies said...

My husband LOVE banana cream pie, so he will be very grateful that I found this recipe! Thanks for another great idea:)

Melissa said...

Wow, that really looks delish!

eatingbender said...

YUM! That looks so amazing. All of my favorite sweet/carby sensations wrapped up in one pie. Deeelicious!

Fo shizzle ;o) Now you're not gonna get me to stop typing that.

healthy ashley said...

Holy cow. Yum! I'd probably stop at the bananas on the cookie crust. Hello, breakfast!

dailygoods said...

that looks downright delicious! i want it in my belly!!

Elina said...

I've never heard of agar. Thanks for enlightening me :)
That pie looks delicious!!

Aggie said...

Um, this looks totally fantastic!! I really love your oatmeal crust!!!

Kevin said...

I have been wanting to try a banana cream pie and this one looks great!

Carrie said...

My husband has been begging me to make a banana cream pie, I might have to try this one.

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