I yelled to anyone who would listen, "This is the first and last banana cream pie I'm ever going to make! If anyone wants any sort of cream pie, you'll have to make it yourself!" Then I think steam rolled out of my ears.
I called my friend Carol, who began baking pies about the same time I did. I called because she almost always can talk for a few minutes, she will tell me straight up what I need to do, and she's hilarious. Plus, she just made a few chocolate cream pies and almond cream pies within the last few weeks. She's very generous and thin -- she gives most of her pies to friends.
She asked, "Do you have any pie weights?"
I didn't know what she was talking about. The only pie weight I have is what has settled around my middle within the last year after I've been eating the apple, peach, blueberry, strawberry rhubarb, and pumpkin pies.
I googled "pie weights" and found all sorts of interesting things. Pie weights are used when the pie crust is being baked (without any pie filling) to avoid the pie crust from shrinking and puffing out. Some bakers put a layer of aluminum foil on their pie crusts and fill the pie tin with rice or beans to weigh down the crust. Some bakers have used pennies! (I just can't do that because of the germs. Are washed pennies really clean?) Some bakers use heavy chains. I went to our pantry and found rice, but I only had about 1/4 cup. That wasn't going to cut it.
Chris went to the basement and said, "Maybe you can uses these nails?"
Noah said, "I didn't know pies could lift weights."
My second pie crust was in the fridge because Isaac kept turning off the oven, which surprisingly was good timing when Carol called. She said she was on her way to our house. When I answered the door, she was holding a box.
I laid a piece of aluminum foil over my pie crust and set the ceramic weights on top. They filled most of the pie plate. Then I tossed my pie crust into the oven. After ten minutes or so, I removed the foil and dumped the pie weights into a bowl. Then I baked the crust a few more minutes until it was a beautiful golden brown. The pie weights were then washed, dried, and put away.
After the crust cooled, I sliced bananas into the bottom and began cooking the filling on the stove. Once it thickened and boiled, I poured it into the crust.
I'm delivering a piece of banana cream pie to Carol tomorrow. She said it's a pie her husband has requested she make. She's never made one before but said banana cream pie is one of her all-time favorites.
Everyone should be so lucky to have a friend like Carol. More cream pies are now in my future -- and likely hers.
And now I have pie weights to match my pie weight.