Homemade Banana Cream Pie
It is time. Comment and bake challenge coming to life!!!
Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway and submitted your recipe earlier this month. This was such a fun experience and I enjoyed reading through all of your favorite desserts and how you make them, too! I feel like we should do this again sometime. Maybe during the holidays?!
The randomly chosen winner was Sara, who asked me to perfect her banana cream pie recipe. This actually made me really happy because I always have trouble with banana cream pie setting up. And if it’s not the thickness issue, it’s the flavor. But this gave me an opportunity to focus this month!
Bakers, welcome to THE banana cream pie recipe.
First thing’s first! This is a completely from-scratch banana cream pie recipe. There will be no boxes, zero mixes, zippity zilch shortcuts. Banana cream pie is such a specialty and while I’ve definitely made this delicacy with pudding mixes in the past, we all deserve to try it the homemade way. Because I assure you: you can taste the difference. And it will graciously satisfy your heart, soul, and stomach.
Also, there are a lot of photos in your scrolling future. If you’d like to jump to the recipe, keep scrolling. It’s down there somewhere I swear.
Let’s walk through this. Start with a pie crust shell. If you have a favorite pie crust recipe you prefer to use, go ahead! The pie crust must be blind baked before it’s filled because the filling itself will not be baked. The pie will set up in the refrigerator, not the oven. The best way to blind bake your pie crust is to use pie weights. If the pie weights are left out, the pie crust could shrink. I have a super helpful blind baking tutorial and video if you’re feeling lost.
Alternatively, how about using a graham cracker crust!? This is an easier option. Make sure you pre-bake it for about 10 minutes at 350°F (177°C), then let it cool completely before filling.
Into the pie shell, we’ll layer banana slices, a sprinkle of cinnamon (unique to BCP but wow!!! It tasted unbelievable in this.), then the homemade pudding filling. I hope you aren’t intimidated by homemade pudding because I promise it’s the easiest stuff! It’s made primarily from sugar, whole milk, cream, and egg yolks. For flavor, we’ll add vanilla and butter. For thickening, cornstarch.
Certainly not diet food, but diets do not belong in pies.
Whisking is the most important part when making pudding. If you know how to whisk, you know how to make pudding.
You’ll mix egg yolks and cornstarch together while you heat whole milk, cream, and sugar on the stove. Once the milk/cream/sugar is pretty warm, slowly stream a little into the egg yolk/cornstarch mixture. This is called tempering. The slow and steady stream of warm milk is bringing the egg yolks up to a very high temperature without fully cooking them. If fully cooked, your pie filling will be scrambled eggs.
Right: egg yolks and cornstarch. Left: warm milk whisked in.
Then stream the egg yolk mixture back into the rest of the milk/cream/sugar on the stove. Cook on low until it begins to bubble. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and butter, then allow to slightly cool. That’s it! The pudding will be smooth, rich, and silky. As it cools, it will thicken into the perfect texture for the banana cream pie.
My problem in the past has always been a too-thin filling. “Banana cream pie slop” as I’ve always called it. Disappointing to say the least. But this time– by adding a little heavy cream and using 4 egg yolks– the filling is custard-y, yet sturdy.
This is REALLY good vanilla pudding you can use anytime for various desserts. Or eat plain. It’s awesome. ↓
My thing with banana cream pie is that there are never enough bananas! Load ’em in until no more can fit. Then decorate the top of the pie with even more. I love texture in desserts and banana cream pie doesn’t usually deliver on that front. But with lots of banana slices, we’ll get there.
I swear cinnamon brings this banana cream pie from good to great.
Spread the vanilla pudding filling into the pie shell, cover with plastic wrap, then chill it for a few hours. At least 4 hours and up to 1 day. Perfect pie for making ahead of time. When ready to serve, decorate with more banana slices and homemade whipped cream. You can decorate it any which way– a thick layer of whipped cream or pipe pretty dollops like I do. I used the Wilton 1M tip to pipe it.
The homemade whipped cream is just heavy cream, a little confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract. I feel like this pie would taste amazing with almond extract in the whipped cream too. Try that!
This homemade banana cream pie is phenomenal. You’ll go bananas for it!! (→ Couldn’t help myself.) A buttery crust, a seriously luscious vanilla pudding filling, big chunks of tender bananas, cinnamon for good measure, and lightly sweetened whipped cream to up the ante. Savor every single bite as it melts in your mouth because you deserve to. Because you made this all from scratch!
Homemade Banana Cream Pie
Crust & Filling
- Homemade pie crust (recipe makes 2 crusts; you can halve the crust recipe or freeze the 2nd half)1
- 1 and 3/4 cups (420ml) whole milk
- 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup (30g) cornstarch
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 4 bananas
- optional: sprinkle of ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons (15g) confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- I like to make sure my pie dough is prepared before I begin making banana cream pie. I always make pie dough the night before because it needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before rolling out and blind baking (next step).
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Fully blind bake your pie crust. (Follow blind baking instructions through step 9.) Allow to cool completely before adding the filling.
- Make the filling: Combine the milk, heavy cream, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until all the sugar has dissolved, then bring to a gentle simmer, whisking occasionally. Working quickly as the milk mixture begins to simmer, whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch together in a medium heatproof bowl until thick and smooth. Very slowly stream in 1 cup (240ml) of the simmering milk to slightly warm the egg yolk mixture. Then, in a very slow stream, whisk the egg yolk mixture into the pan. While continuously whisking, cook until the mixture is thick and big bubbles begin bursting at the surface. Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract and butter. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the warm pudding to prevent a "skin" from forming on top. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- Slice 2 bananas and arrange slices into the cooled pie shell. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Spread cooled filling on top. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the filling. Again, to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.
- When ready to serve, make the whipped cream: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Spread or pipe onto the chilled pie. Slice 2 remaining bananas and decorate the pie with slices. Slice and serve.
Make ahead tip: The pie dough can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can also blind bake the crust ahead of time, see how to blind bake pie crust for details. You can make the filling 1 day ahead of time as well. Make sure you place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the warm pudding before storing in the refrigerator. This is not the best pie to freeze. The filling's texture is never quite the same.
- To cut back on time, try using a graham cracker crust. Make sure you pre-bake it for about 10 minutes at 350°F (177°C), then let it cool completely before filling.
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Thank you, Sara, for letting me start from your recipe! ♥
More pie recipes right this way!