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In the Kitchen with Ricky: Bavarian Cream Pie

Nov. 22, 2022 Updated Wed., Nov. 23, 2022 at 8:49 a.m.

By Ricky Webster For The Spokesman-Review

National Bavarian Cream Pie Day is Nov. 27 – Sunday – and in my opinion, just in time for Thanksgiving. Bavarian cream is a simple recipe consisting of milk thickened with eggs and gelatin and then lightened by folding in whipped heavy cream. It is usually molded into a dish and is typically paired with fruit or fruit purees. The recipe below could easily forgo the pie shell and get poured into individual dishes or ramekins, like the Italian panna cotta. .

Bavarian cream is a classic dessert that has been around since the early 19th century and its creation is often credited to French Chef Marie Antoine Crème, who made it for a German family that ruled Bavaria. It first appeared in the United States in a Boston cooking school cookbook in 1884; however, it isn’t until after the 1900s, when pudding and custard mixes became readily available, that Bavarian cream started making its way into pies.

Today, Bavarian cream is found in both France and Germany as well as the United States. The Bavarian cream often found in American doughnuts is typically Bavarian cream in name only, and really just carries the flavor of the real thing.

If you’d like to get this on your Thanksgiving table this week, forgo making your own pie crust and buy a frozen one from the grocery store. It’ll save you the time and will go great with this recipe. I also think the recipe below would pair nicely with a graham cracker or Oreo crust for a fun take on the classic.

Vanilla Bavarian Cream Pie

1 pie shell, unbaked

Bayerische (Bavarian Creme):

4 egg yolks

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/4 cups whole milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon powdered gelatin

1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream

Whipped cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup powdered sugar

Berries, toasted nuts, shaved chocolate (for garnish), optional

Make or buy a premade pie shell.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Blind bake the pie crust by lining the shell with parchment paper and filling with pie weights, dried beans, legumes, or rice.

Remove parchment and weights after about 15 to 20 minutes and continue baking until desired color is achieved. I went a bit darker and this whole process took about 35 minutes in my oven. Let cool while cooking the Bavarian cream.

Add the sugar, egg yolks and salt into a bowl and whisk to combine until creamy and sugar has started to dissolve.

In a medium saucepan, add vanilla and milk and place over medium heat, bringing to just a boil, or scalding.

Stirring egg mixture constantly, slowly pour the hot milk into them. This tempers the eggs, preventing them from scrambling when putting back onto the stove.

Put the egg mixture back over the heat and stir constantly.

Bring the custard to a boil and remove from heat.

Sprinkle in the powdered gelatin and whisk in thoroughly, until no gelatin bits remain. Place into the refridgerator.

While the custard mixture cools, whip the whipping cream until it begins to stiffen and holds its shape.

Remove the custard from the fridge. You want it to be about body temperature, no warmer, but you don’t want it to be cold, as the gelatin with firm it up quickly.

Strain the milk/egg cream into the bowl with the whipped cream and fold together .

At this point, once introduced to the cold whipped cream, the custard will begin to set rapidly, so make sure to get it into your baked and cooled pie shell quickly.

Allow to set in the refrigerator for 1 -2 hours.

For whipped cream:

Combine cream, salt, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Whisk just until medium soft peaks form. Top chilled pie with whipped cream.

Serve immediately or continue to chill for up to 12 more hours before serving.

Yield: 8-10 servings

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