They say that the third time is the charm, right?
Oh, lordy, do I hope so!
The first two attempts were not what I’d call “successful.” The second one was so bad, I fed it to the dogs, literally. Out of three dogs, there was only one that would eat it. Yep, you guessed it…it was also the one that loves dining on garbage.
I discovered that bananas can actually become SOUR, like chunks of lemons, in the pie if they weren’t handled properly. (I had sauteed the bananas for that version.) Back to the drawing board I went, with my head hanging in shame. I don’t have many utter failures, but you couldn’t have failed more utterly than that attempt did.
So, this time, it’s a whole new method of combining the flavors I love into an easy to make pie. It’s baking in the oven as I speak, and hasn’t even been in long enough to start wafting tempting aromas through the house. I have no idea if it’s going to be a success or not yet, so I can’t share the recipe…it might be horrible!
I’ve been asked how I come up with a new recipe. It isn’t something that is hard, usually. Even my daughter does it, although she is adventurous in ways that I am not willing to go, especially with some flavor combinations. Some of them are surprisingly good even to me, much more traditional in my approach to the food I’m going to eat. Others, well, I end up politely declining sometimes, other times, I try it and wish I hadn’t, and sometimes I think I’m going to like it, only to have something in the combination get nixed by my taste buds.
Usually I start off with two things. A flavor I like, and a recipe I like. I’m not a trained chef or baker, so maybe it’s a bit more on the trial and error side for me than for some. Other times, it’s necessity that inspires the new version.
I’ve learned a lot over the years. Things like corned beef is NOT good in spaghetti sauce, unless you are really, really hungry. It will also taste even worse when you try it for breakfast the next day. I’ve learned that some things that I consider familiar may be exotic, suspicious or even unpleasant to those who aren’t familiar with them, kind of like the day I made an omelet that had sauteed tomatillos, among other things, inside. My husband was not thrilled with the tart flavor combined with the eggs. He also didn’t like my favorite green chili and pork stew mixture, regarding it as unpleasant in appearance. I guess not everyone is used to something with such lurid colored broth as pureed green chilies and tomatillos make.
So, I have to consider who I am cooking for, as well as the ingredients that I’m going to use. I’d not make jalapeno popper cupcakes to serve at a toddler’s birthday party, unless it was an adult offering while confetti cupcakes were being served to the potty training crowd. Gooey and messy foods are also not going to work when presentation is important.
So, with my banana foster pie pursuit, I’ve been seeking to combine the texture and flavor of a buttermilk custard pie with the rich flavor of bananas and cinnamon. I’ve had bland and too firm, and I’ve had tart and unpleasant, but so far…nothing close. This has been the toughest combination I’ve ever shot for, with the most profound difficulties. It makes the jalapeno cupcakes look easy!
I have to get several things right. First the texture has to stay smooth and creamy. Then, there has to be plenty of banana flavor. Once I accomplish that, I can adjust the rest of the flavors until it’s just right.
It’s kind of fun. In this case, it’s a science experiment, because I have to properly combine all of the components, along with the application of heat, to create the right textures. On top of that, they have to also be adjusted for good flavor. It’s always a chemistry experiment when you are baking, as you have to combine the various chemicals in the ingredients to achieve the desired results. At least with the chemistry involved in baking, you aren’t going to blow anything up, right?
We hope anyhow.