Banana and Pecan Pie with Cranberry and Orange Coulis

This easily made winter pudding is one of those which provoke ecstatic noises while being eaten. The chilled cranberry and orange coulis cuts perfectly into the warm richness of the pie. For convenience make the pie in advance and keep it in the refrigerator, then glaze and bake it shortly before your meal.

Ingredients

For the Coulis

  • 175 g (6 oz) fresh cranberries
  • 300 ml (½ pint) fresh orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 125 g (4 oz) granulated sugar

For the Pie

  • 250 g (8 oz) packet puff pastry, thawed if frozen
  • 250 g (8 oz) cream cheese
  • 75 g (3 oz) light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg (size 1), beaten lightly
  • 3—4 firm bananas (depending on size)
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 75 g (3 oz) shelled pecan nuts, halved
  • Milk and caster sugar for glazing

Method

Make the cranberry and orange coulis first. Put the cranberries in a saucepan with the orange and lemon juices and bring to the boil, then cover and simmer gently for 10—12 minutes until the cranberries are popped and mushy.

Add the granulated sugar and stir until dissolved. Whizz the mixture in a food processor until it is as smooth as possible – for perfect smoothness rub the purée through a sieve. Turn the coulis into a serving bowl and chill.

Generously butter a 20-23 cm (8-9in) flan dish. Cut the pastry in half and shape it into 2 balls. On a lightly floured surface roll out 2 circles, one about the size of the flan dish and one slightly larger. Prick the circles lightly all over with a fork and line the dish with the larger circle.

Put the cream cheese and brown sugar in a bowl and whisk until fluffy. Thoroughly whisk in the beaten egg. Mash the bananas with the lemon juice and stir immediately into the cream cheese mixture with the halved pecan nuts and the lemon rind.

Spoon the mixture into the lined flan dish and lay the other circle of pastry on top. Cut off the excess pastry neatly, moisten the edges lightly with water and press round the edges to seal. Roll out the pastry trimmings. Cut out some decorations, moisten them on one side and arrange on top of the pie. Brush the top of the pie with milk and sprinkle evenly all over with caster sugar, then bake in the centre of a preheated oven, 200°C, 400°F, Gas Mark 6 for 30-35 minutes until the pastry is a rich, crispy brown. Serve hot or warm with the chilled coulis as a sauce.

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