Tuesday, August 20, 2019

In which your humble writer makes some bananas very sad

You're in for a treat today! Yes, it's a bonus post for the SIXTH annual Pieathalon. Just like last year, I was lucky enough to get a pie recipe from Dr. Bobb of Dr. Bobb's Kitschen!

This time, my recipe comes from the Hempfield School District Cookbook.

Judging from the Expression of Appreciation, I'm guessing this book should be from about 1984.

Dr. Bobb was nice enough to send a recipe that sounded like it could be pretty good: Clara Kosmela--Rohrerstown's Banana Split Pie!

Here are the typed-out directions if you can't read the recipe very well:

Banana Split Pie

2 cups vanilla wafers or graham cracker crumbs
1 stick butter, melted

Mix and press into a 13X9 inch pan.

1 box powdered sugar
1 stick butter or margarine
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
5-6 bananas
1 - 16oz can crushed pineapple, drained
Cool Whip, red cherries, walnuts or pecans

Mix sugar, margarine, eggs, and vanilla for 15 minutes at high speed.  Spread this over crumbs. Slice bananas and put on creamy mixture. Spread drained pineapple next. Put a layer of Cool Whip and sprinkle with nuts. Arrange cherries on top. Refrigerate overnight.  Will serve 12.

Here's a lineup of the ingredients. You may notice the blue marks on the eggs. That's because I got pasteurized eggs since the eggs in this recipe are not cooked at all. (My Pieathalon email did note that some similar recipes use cream cheese instead of eggs for those who don't want to risk eating raw eggs.)

Fun fact: I only read the ingredients list and bought what I needed without paying attention to the rest of the recipe. Then I started wondering how it was all going to fit into a 9" pie plate. I didn't realize until I started that this is not a traditional pie, but a 9 x 13" dessert! I'm glad I had a 9 x 13" pan already, or I would have had to go out shopping again!

And yes, I know, there are no cherries or nuts. I don't like cherries and the people I shared this with don't like nuts, so the pie had to go ungarnished.

I've always felt nervous about making the other recipes because they're usually kind of complicated, especially with whipped egg whites and/ or gelatin, and I'm always afraid I'll screw them up. Luckily, this one was pretty straightforward. First, a crumb crust, and then some time beating together the powdered sugar, eggs, vanilla, and butter.

Dump the well-mixed filling onto the crumb crust, then top with bananas and drained crushed pineapple.

I think four bananas would have been plenty, as I had more than I really needed with five. I used a full 20-oz. can of pineapple instead of the 16-oz. the recipe called for, and it was so hard to distribute evenly that I think I could have actually used a bit more.

Then it got topped with Cool Whip-- again, a bit unevenly. I thought it was fully thawed, but the center was still a little frozen, so it was hard to spread just right. Oh, well.

After the chilling time, I called in my special guest taster!

Even though the real Weird Al wouldn't try this since he's vegan, the Funko Pop version of his '80s self was ready to accept the challenge. He'll try anything weird once, even if it is essentially frosting with eggs in it on a graham cracker crust with some fruit and Cool Whip topping.

I cut in and discovered that my crumb crust, as usual, had completely adhered to the pan and this was not easy to get out! And the tiny accordion was no help for cutting or serving, though mini-Weird Al helpfully used the bellows in his accordion to make it sound like the pie was struggling for breath as I cut into it.

When I finally pried a piece loose, it looked pretty bad, but he was ready to jump in:

"How is it?" I asked.

"It's almost as good as a Twinkie Wiener Sandwich!" he replied. I couldn't tell whether it was with genuine enthusiasm or sarcasm, so I tried a piece too.

I regularly get a bit annoyed with food reviewers who complain that a dessert is too sweet. (It's dessert! The whole point is to be sweet!) So I really hate to say it, but this is too damn sweet! When I could get a bite that was mostly fruit, it was okay. (Probably a loser in the equation to determine whether it's worth the calories, but at least acceptable.) Bites with more of the eggy-frosting gunk were so sweet that they made my mouth feel quivery. Plus, the whole thing is a little soupy, even though I drained the pineapple very well. Once again, this is not a winner (even though I had high hopes going in). It was a lot of fun to make, though!

Thanks again to Yinzerella at Dinner Is Served 1972 for organizing the Pieathalon! Be sure to visit the other Pieathletes!

My previous pies:

Year One: Four-Step Black Bottom Pie
Year Two: Brandy Alexander Pie
Year Three: Lemon Meringue Pie
Year Four: Nutty Caramel Pies
Year Five: Strawberry Ginger Pie


  1. I was happy to see mini Weird Al as your surprise taster (rather than some cereal killer or Sly)! NOT that he was of much help...other than adding some dry wit to your overly sweet situation! I have to admit, when reading the ingredient list, "a box of powdered sugar" kind of stopped me in my tracks. It was a fun read though. Thanks Poppy!

    1. Yes, I probably should have realized that something that called for a full pound of powdered sugar (not to mention the graham crackers, Cool Whip, and fruit) would be a sugar BOMB.

  2. Just think, if you had used cream cheese instead of eggs this would have been a cream cheese frosting pie! Who doesn't like cream cheese frosting? I would then leave off the bananas and the pineapple, and possibly the Cool Whip - heck, I might just leave out the crust as well and help myself to a nice slice of crustless cream cheese frosting pie!

    I have to say, for me the worst-sounding pie on the list is the salmon custard pie. I despise salmon,especially the canned version, and love regular custard pie - who would have the nerve to combine the two into an absurd abomination and call it pie? Weird Al should thank his lucky stars that you did not have to make that one!

    1. Yeah, the salmon one does sound (and look!) pretty bad. The picture of the filling before it was baked looked like something my cat would have splattered across the carpeting after eating too much canned cat food.

      Cream cheese might have seriously improved my pie... but I think it still might have been too sweet with that much powdered sugar.

    2. I think a cream cheese frosting pie would be the perfect dessert for those people who take a slice of carrot cake just to eat the frosting and leave the cake behind - that would have been me decades ago. No more making fake excuses like "I'm allergic to carrots" when all I really wanted to eat was the frosting in the first place (I had a terrible sweet tooth when I was young)!

    3. The cream cheese frosting definitely is the best part of a carrot cake!

  3. This is giving me childhood church potluck flashbacks! You never really knew what was under that Cool Whip until you took a bite. And, even worse, once in a while it wasn't Cool Whip on top of that gelatin creation, it was mayonnaise! Gack! Who does that to a dessert?

    Sorry you didn't get a winner this time, but thanks for the fun post! I hope Sad Weird Al has recovered from the trauma. :)

    1. Yes! I see soooo many gelatin "salad" recipes that are just dessert with mayo on top. I wonder how anybody ever thought that was a good idea.

      Weird Al is fine except for a little Cool Whip in the mustache.

    2. I've been to those potlucks too! The worst one was when the brie wheel got put among the cheesecakes. The second-worst was when someone dumped barbecue sauce on straight-from-the-box cream cheese. That was also placed with the cheesecakes.

    3. Brie is lovely-- but NOT when you're expecting cheesecake. (Especially if you're 5 when you mistakenly get a slice.)

    4. No, but I could easily imagine it! I got all kinds of nasty surprises at church potlucks as a kid, and my parents had to go to great lengths to teach me not to immediately and loudly express my disappointment. Social graces are not my strong suit.

  4. Put some lettuce leaves under it and call it a banana split pie salad. The bitter kick will offset the hypersweetness. There is absolutely no way that could possibly misfire.

    1. That is soooooo appropriate for these types of recipes! I'm always trying to figure out how they used to tell the difference between salad and dessert, and adding lettuce was always a clue that it counted as salad (even if it was 90% sugar).

  5. Victory dance, I figured out your special guest taster! I was also a bit dubious of the "1 box of powdered sugar" in the ingredient list. I was trying to figure out if they sold smaller boxes of sugar then. Then again, this was the era of sugar being fine to eat and fat is bad.

    1. I'm pretty sure the boxes of powdered sugar were the same size in the '80s. Plus, if there is any difference now, the current ones would be smaller. You know how the food companies keep shrinking everything and charging the same price or more.

  6. Haha I forgot you had my pie last year too! Well, I guess we know the purpose of vanilla ice cream now- as mother always said, "It cuts the sweetness!"

    1. Ha! Your mom and my grandma would have gotten along fine.

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  8. First off—I love mini Weird Al joining you on your pie-baking journey! Secondly, this recipe sounds really good! I'd like to try a reduced-sugar version of it somehow. Thanks for sharing, and great job!

    1. Thanks! If you make it, I'm sure you'll find a good way to horror it up.