3.14 National Pi Day: Pi r squared

This chocolate pie is so affectionately named (Pi r squared) because it is so deep that I cannot make it in a regular round pie pan, and so use a square baking dish. The crust is a traditional graham cracker no-bake crust.

1 2/3 graham cracker crumbs (You can buy the already crushed crumbs or you can crush them yourself by placing graham crackers in a plastic Ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin.)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tab. melted butter (Put in a small glass bowl and microwave.)
Mix together in a bowl and then press into a buttered 9 inch square baking dish.
Layer the slices of two bananas on top of the graham cracker crust. Overlapping slightly is okay.

Make a package of chocolate pudding mix according to the package. (You will need 3 cups of milk for that.) Once it is bubbling, just take it off the stove and pour over the bananas and crust. Put in the refrigerator to thicken and cool. That will take a few hours.

Once the pudding is firm, it is time to make the whipped cream. Sure, you can use store bought in a can, but once you have made it from scratch once, you won't want to go back to the canned stuff. Put 2 cups of whipping cream (It comes in a small square carton like a small milk carton in the dairy section.) in the bowl of your mixer. Put the whisk on your mixer. (I use a Kitchen-Aid, but you can use a hand mixer.) Add in 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. (You can use regular granulated sugar, but it will have a grainy texture.) You can also add 1 tab. of vanilla, but my kids like it just fine without it.
Going slowly up so you don't have the cream all over your kitchen, take the mixer to its highest power. You will need to mix it like this for several minutes before it thickens into whipped cream. If you squeeze in a small amount of lemon juice, say 1 teaspoon, in while it is whipping, it will make it thicken easier and the sour taste does not come through in the finished whipped cream. Some say that it whips better if you get the bowl and the whisk very cold in your refrigerator or freezer. I have never done that since mine has always whipped up fine without it. See, I told you it wasn't that hard. Now top that pudding with the whipped cream. It is best to eat it right away, but it can be stored in the refrigerator until later...if you really can resist it.
(First published on 3-14-2011)

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