Homemade Banana Cream Pie with no box-pudding mix. A delicious homemade custard filling that holds together perfectly, layered inside a nilla wafer crust.
This banana cream pie recipe has been a long time coming. Over the years, I’ve tried so many recipes for it, trying to adapt them to my liking, but do you know what drives me nuts? When the pudding/custard part of the pie falls apart as you serve it. The pie looks beautiful , until you start cutting and serving it, and you end up with a sloppy mess.
The opposite is also a problem though. I had a piece of banana cream pie at a cafe recently and it held together perfectly, but the taste and texture was gelatin-like. It was all hard and jiggly. Yuck. You can’t add to much thickener, like cornstach, or this will happen.
The key is to cook the custard perfectly, and thicken it just right, so that you end up somewhere in the middle of those two scenarios: the banana cream pie holds together well enough to serve it, but the custard is still creamy and soft. That is my idea of the perfect banana cream pie. And THIS is it!
This pie starts with a simple nilla wafer crust. Banana Cream Pie is often made in a regular pie crust, but I LOVE the flavor combination of the nilla wafers pie crust. You could also use a graham cracker pie crust, or even a gingersnap cookie crust.
Then, make the amazing homemade banana cream pie filling. The custard filling recipe is adapted from Si from A Bountiful Kitchen, and it’s absolutely delicious! Take time to carefully follow the instructions, and this will be the best banana cream pie you’ve ever made!
After you make and cool the custard, layer half of it inside the pie crust, and top it with a layer of sliced bananas.
Then, smooth the rest of the custard over the sliced bananas. Top the pie with some sweetened, freshly whipped cream. Heaven! Make sure to give the pie several hours in the fridge. This is crucial in making sure it sets up properly, and doesn’t get sloppy on you when you cut into it.
This is a great pie to make in advance. You can prepare the nilla wafer crust several days in advance. Then you can finish making the pie and store it in your fridge for 2-3 days before serving. If you do plan to make this pie a few days in advance, I would suggest NOT adding bananas to the middle of the pie. Instead, add all of the custard to the pie, and refrigerate it. When ready to serve, serve each pie slice with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh bananas sliced on top. This way you don’t have to worry about the bananas getting mushy or brown.
Homemade Banana Cream Pie with a deliciously simple custard filling, fresh bananas and whipped cream all layered in a nilla wafers crust. No box-pudding mixes and it holds together perfectly!
- 60 Nilla wafers
- ⅓ cup butter , melted
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 tablespoons butter , cut into pieces
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 firm bananas , sliced and tossed gently in a little lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9’’ or 10’’ pie plate with cooking spray.
Add Nilla wafers to a food processor and pulse until crumbs. (If you don’t have a food processor you can crush them in a ziplock bag, with a rolling pin.)
Add cookie crumbs to a bowl and stir in melted butter.
Press mixture firmly into the pie plate and up the sides.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before adding the custard filling.
Whisk eggs and yolk together in a bowl. Set aside.
Add sugar, salt and cornstarch to a large, heavy saucepan and whisk to combine. Add cold milk and stir well.
Turn heat on to medium-high and cook, whisking constantly (so that the sugar and milk don’t burn), for 5 minutes.
Continue stirring until mixtures comes to a gentle boil. Maintain this gentle boil over medium heat, cooking for 5-7 minutes, until thickened.
Add a large spoonful of the hot mixture into the bowl with the eggs, and stir constantly as you add it. This is called “tempering” the eggs. You add the hot mixture a little at a time to the eggs to slowly warm them, without “scrambling” them.
Repeat, with several more spoonfuls of hot custard, stirred into the eggs.
Add the tempered egg mixture to the saucepan, stirring constantly, until incorporated.
Cook, stirring, over medium heat for 2 more minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla extract.
Pour custard into a bowl and lay a piece of plastic wrap onto the top of the custard to prevent a thick film from forming on it as it cools.
Refrigerate for 1 hour.
After the custard has cooled, spoon half of it into the cooled pie crust. Add a layer of thinly sliced bananas*. Add remaining custard and smooth into an even layer.
Add heavy cream to a mixing bowl and whip until peaks form, then beat in powdered sugar.
Smooth whipped cream over the top of the pie,
Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 4-6 hours before serving.
*The crust can be prepared several days in advance. Allow it to cool completely, and then store it, covered, in the fridge until your ready to use it.) * Instead of layering bananas inside the filling, you could serve them on top, at the end, with a dollop of whipped cream. This works great for those wanting to make the pie a few days in advance (so you don’t have to worry about brown bananas).
Have you tried this recipe?!
RATE this recipe and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.