Old-fashioned desserts can be pretty and festive. This pie is made with a lot less sugar than the traditional version and has heart-healthy flaxseed added to the rich pudding filling.
From Secrets of a Skinny Chef by Jennifer Iserloh; copyright 2010; Rodale
|1 1/2 cups whole wheat graham crackers, for the crust||1/4 teaspoon salt, for the filing|
|2 tablespoons trans-fat-free margarine, melted, for crust||2 1/2 cups fat-free milk, for the filing|
|1/2 cup whole wheat flour, for the filing||3 eggs egg yolks, lightly beaten, for the filing|
|1/3 cup granulated sugar, for the filing||2 teaspoons vanilla extract, for the filing|
|1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, for the filing||1 tablespoon trans-fat-free margarine, for the filing|
|2 tablespoons ground flaxseed, for the filing||3 ripe bananas, thinly sliced (about 1 pound), for the filing|
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the graham crackers in a food processor and pulse them into fine crumbs. Drizzle in the melted margarine and pulse again. Spoon the mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch pie plate and press with your fingers to form an even crust. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until crust is firm. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Whisk the flour, sugar, cinnamon, flaxseed, and salt in a large saucepan off the heat. Add the milk gradually, stirring until smooth. Cook the mixture over medium-high heat, until it boils, stirring constantly. Transfer 1 cup of the liquid into a mug. Whisk in the egg yolks. Slowly mix the contents of the mug back into the liquid in the saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and margarine. Cool 10 to 15 minutes.
Place the bananas on top of the graham crust, pour in the filling, and smooth with a rubber spatula.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy with an electric mixer set on high speed. Add the sugar gradually. Continue beating the egg whites, until they hold a glossy peak.
Spoon the meringue onto the filling, spreading the egg whites to the edge of the crust with the back of a spoon. To make decorative peaks for the top of the pie, touch the back of the spoon to the egg whites and lift up. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until the meringue is nicely browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Serve at room temperature or chill uncovered for 1 hour before slicing.
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