Local flavor: Tukwila fire chief shares boyhood recipe for banana cream pie

Tukwila Fire Chief Nicholas Olivas grew up the youngest, in a family that saw him as the only boy. Maybe that’s why he held some sway with his mom, Esther, who occasionally would haul out the hardware to make her son his favorite dessert: banana cream pie. From scratch.

Tukwila Fire Chief Nicholas J. Olivas displays his mother's handwritten recipe for banana-cream pie. Olivas had the recipe laminated

Tukwila Fire Chief Nicholas Olivas grew up the youngest, in a family that saw him as the only boy.

Maybe that’s why he held some sway with his mom, Esther, who occasionally would haul out the hardware to make her son his favorite dessert: banana cream pie. From scratch.

“She made it on holidays and every once in a while if it wasn’t a holiday – if I begged hard enough,” Olivas said, grinning.

Olivas remained close to his mother. And after Esther passed away, he took on the pie-baking tradition, with help from her hand-written recipe. It’s a family tradition he’s keeping alive.

“I do it on the holidays, and once in a while for a special request,” Olivas said.

For the newlywed Olivas, who tied the knot July 24 with his sweetheart Alicia, a pie also could be one of those requests, although he’s the first to admit “she’s a really good cook.”

When he’s not baking pies, Olivas likes to do other kinds of cooking, although not necessarily in the kitchen.

“I do the barbecuing and smoking of things,” he said with a smile.

Here is Tukwila Fire Chief Nicholas Olivas’ family recipe for Banana Cream Pie:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar

5 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups milk (you may substitute non-fat half and half for part of the milk)

2 egg yolks, slightly beaten

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3 ripe bananas

1 9-inch baked pie shell

Instructions:

Combine sugar, flour and salt in the top of a double boiler

Add milk slowly, mixing thoroughly

Cook 10 minutes over rapidly boiling water until well-thickened, stirring constantly

Cook an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally

Stir a small amount of the hot mixture into the egg yolks; pour the egg yolks into the hot mixture while stirring vigorously; cook one minute longer

Remove the double boiler from the heat and add vanilla and butter; stir until all ingredients are well-mixed

Peel and slice bananas into the cooked pie shell and immediately cover with the filling

Top pie with banana slices and allow to cool

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