This delicious Banana Cream Pie includes a homemade custard filling that holds together perfectly, layered inside a nilla wafer crust. You’ll never use a box pudding mix again!
If you’ve been hanging around TBFS for awhile, you know that I have dozens of Homemade Pie recipes. Don’t ask me to choose my favorite; it’s impossible! But I will tell you that right now I’m craving all the cream pies: Lemon Sour Cream, Chocolate Cream Pie, and Coconut Cream Pie!
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. My mom tried this recipe from A Bountiful Kitchen and it’s a winner, (especially with a Nilla wafer crust)!
What I Love About this Banana Cream Pie:
- The filling: The key to perfect banana cream filling is in the consistency. If you cook it right, it will thicken to where the banana cream pie holds together well enough to serve it, but the custard is still creamy and soft. Be sure that the filling has thickened in the pan (before tempering it with the egg mixture) and definitely before pouring it into your crust.
- The crust: This banana cream pie can be made with a variety of different crusts. I make it with a wafer crust (essentially crushed vanilla wafers mixed with melted butter) but you could also make it with homemade Graham cracker crust or a pre-baked traditional pie crust. Whichever crust you choose, I’m begging you to make it from scratch because it will taste so much better!
- Make ahead of time. If you’re looking to make this pie ahead of time, it’s easy to do. Just wait to add the bananas to the top before serving (instead of in the center of the pie).
How to make Banana Cream Pie:
1. Make the crust. Crush wafers in a food processor, mix with melted butter, and press into pan.
2. Make the filling. The custard filling is made on the stovetop with milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, eggs, butter, and vanilla. NOTE: Be sure that the filling has thickened in the pan (before tempering it with the egg mixture) and definitely before pouring it into your crust.
3. Fill half with custard. After you make and cool the custard, layer half of it inside the pie crust, and top it with a layer of sliced bananas.
4. Add sliced bananas. You can also add bananas to the top of the pie when serving, instead (especially if your making in advance).
5. Add the rest of the custard. Smooth the rest of the custard over the sliced bananas. Top the pie with some sweetened, freshly whipped cream. Heaven!
6. Refrigerate. 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. To store: Cover the pie in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:
To make ahead: 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.
To freeze: Allow the pie to cool complete. Wrap it in plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and serve cold.
CONSIDER TRYING THESE HOMEMADE PIES:
- Cherry pie
- Lemon Sour Cream Pie
- Pumpkin Pie
- Oreo Cheesecake Pie
- Lemon Chiffon Pie
- Coconut Cream Pie
- Triple Berry Pie
Banana Cream Pie
For the Nilla wafers crust:
- 60 Nilla wafers
- ⅓ cup butter , melted
For the custard filling:
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3 Tablespoons butter , cut into pieces
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 firm bananas , sliced and tossed gently in a little lemon juice
For the whipped cream:
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
Prepare the crust*.
- 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.
For the 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 a few more minutes, until the mixture has thickened.
- 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.
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Recipe adapted from A Bountiful Kitchen.
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I originally shared this recipe November 2017. Updated with improved instructions November 2019.