There’s nothing quite like an easy banana cream pie. Fresh bananas topped with a creamy vanilla custard for an old fashioned, but never out of style, pie.
My first disaster with cooking was when I was 15 and attempted to make a banana pie, not a banana cream pie. It tasted awful despite meticulously following the recipe. From there I began a search for a great banana cream pie so that I could redeem myself.
Homemade Banana Cream Pie
I came up with this one and have been making it ever since. I made this several times in college when we could find an unused kitchen with whatever pot we could scrounge up. My friends would buy the ingredients and I would produce this amazing pie that reminded us all of home. To me this ranks right up there with mac and cheese or buttermilk pie when you’re looking for some comfort food.
Why you’ll love this Easy Banana Cream Pie Recipe
- Banana cream pie is a buttery vanilla custard with bananas, like banana pudding but in a crust
- You can learn how to make a yummy pie crust (as we all should!) with this dish or just use a pre-made one
- It’s so delicious, that no one will notice if it doesn’t look perfect
What you’ll need for the Best Banana Cream Pie Recipe
- Bananas – you don’t want them too ripe, look for firm with just a few speckles of brown.
- Egg yolks – this will give it that custard texture and thicken it.
- Pantry staples – sugar, flour, butter, milk, and butter.
- Pie Crust – homemade is always the best, but if you’re short on time, try a graham cracker, or pretzel crust.
How to make this Easy Banana Cream Pie Recipe
For the best cream pie you need to start with a homemade pie crust. The one thing I hope that you’ll remember is that if you are making someone a homemade pie, they don’t care if the pie crust is perfect or the filling is an amazing consistency, they will love it regardless. However, for those who still want their pie to look good and have a flaky crust, I’ve provided you with a few tips.
How to make the filling for banana cream pie
In a saucepan combine sugar, flour, and salt. Whisk in whole milk and cook until it thickens over medium heat, whisking the entire time. This will take about 6 minutes. It needs to be thick when you take it off the heat.
Stir a small amount of the hot liquid into a bowl of slightly beaten egg yolks and slowly combine. Next add the warmed egg yolks to the hot mixture along with butter and vanilla. Let this cool to room temperature.
Slice bananas into the cooled pie crust and top with the room temperature filling. Refrigerate until set. This will take a couple of hours.
Just before serving either top the entire pie with whipped cream or top each individual slice with a dollop of whipped cream.
How to make Homemade Pie Crust for the Best Banana Cream Pie
If you really want a perfect crust every time, you should use shortening. However, I just can’t bring myself to use shortening, so my crust is all butter, which means it will melt in your mouth. With a butter crust you have to take a few steps to get a perfect flaky crust.
Combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and add cubes of COLD butter. Process until you still have pea size butter chunks.
Add very cold water and apple cider vinegar and process until it’s shaggy but is starting to come together.
Divide the dough in half and place each half on a large sheet of plastic wrap and form it into a large disc. Refrigerate one for at least an hour and freeze the second one for another pie.
Remove and place the pie dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and cover with another sheet of plastic wrap. Roll it out until it’s larger than the pie pan, remove the top sheet of plastic wrap and drape the crust over the pie pan. Then remove the plastic wrap and pinch the crust so that you have a fluted edge. Put it back in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
For this pie as with most cream pies, you’ll need to completely bake the pie crust. This recipe makes enough pie crust for 2 pies, because if you’re making pie crust you might as well make two. Just freeze the second pie crust or another pie or galette.
How to make a pie crust without a food processor
Don’t have food processor? You can still make a pie crust, just try not to touch the mixture any more than you have to, your warm hands will melt the butter.
Add the butter to your flour mixture and combine with a fork or pastry cutter until you get pea size chunks then add the liquid using a fork to stir until it looks shaggy.
How do you wholly bake a pie crust
The goal with a cream pie is to have a flaky pie crust even on the bottom. To achieve this, you’ll need to poke the pie crust with a fork and then put a piece of parchment paper over it and fill it with pie weights or beans.
The pie weights keep the sides from shrinking down. Bake it at 400º for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven, remove the parchment paper and pie weights and bake an additional 12-14 minutes until the entire crust is golden brown. Let it cool completely before you fill it.
Now that you have a perfectly flaky crust, it’s time to make the most amazing homemade vanilla custard.
Pro Tip: You can use a graham cracker crust if you’re in a hurry or just don’t want to make a pie crust for this recipe.
Other ways to top your cream pie
- While banana cream pie is not the prettiest pie, the creamy, vanilla, buttery custard is so delicious that no one cares what it looks like. It’s so amazing, that you don’t need to to it with anything, but a dollop of whip cream is never a bad choice.
- Drizzle some chocolate ganache (from Pip and Ebby) over the top
- For a more banana flavor, tip the pie with thin slices of banana.
Pro Tip: If you want pretty swirls of whipped cream or just want it to keep its form for a few day, learn how you can easily stabilize whipped cream.
How to store this Recipe For Banana Cream Pie
Does banana cream pie need to be refrigerated?
Yes, a banana pie cream pie must be refrigerated until you are ready to serve it.
How long does banana cream pie keep in the fridge?
You can keep a banana cream pie in the fridge up to 3 days. Any longer and the filling will begin to run and not taste fresh and creamy and the crust will get soggy.
Can banana cream pie be frozen?
Yes, you can freeze banana cream pie. It will have the consistency of ice cream so allow it to sit out for 10 minutes to cut into it easier.
Easy Banana Cream Pie FAQs
The number 1 reason you will typically see a runny pie is undercooked custard filling. Make sure you take the time to allow it to thicken up on the stove. This pie is best served same day but after a few days it will begin to become runny.
Although brown bananas do not look as delicious in a pie, they aren’t bad to eat. However you can avoid your pie from having brown bananas if you make sure to have firm bananas that have not started to turn. Another tip is to brush the bananas with lemon juice so they don’t brown as quick.
Banana cream pie became popular when bananas became readily available in the US. It is the most popular in the South and Midwest. It’s pretty popular here in North Carolina, but I don’t think any State can claim the origins of this Southern favorite.
The filling of banana cream pie is thickened by eggs, and either flour or cornstarch. However, these have to cook long enough for the filling to get thick. If your pie filling did not get thick, next time add a bit more flour and increase the cooking time. It should be very thick before removing it from the stove.
More Banana Recipes
More pie recipes
- Try an old fashioned Lemon Chess Pie
- When raspberries are in season, you’ll love some hand pies
- There’s nothing like a rich chocolate pie
- Use some apple brandy in these delicious apple hand pies
- Go savory with a quiche
- For Thanksgiving, you have to try an apple crumb pie
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Homemade Banana Cream Pie
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 20 tablespoons cold butter 2 ½ sticks cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup cold water
- ¾ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups milk
- 3 egg yolk beaten
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2-3 bananas
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2-3 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- In a food processor, add flour, sugar and salt and pulse to combine. Add cold butter, cut into 1 inch pieces, and pulse until you have pea size chunks of butter. Add vinegar and water and pulse until the dough starts to come together. Place on floured surface and knead until all flour is incorporated, it won’t be smooth. Divide in half and pat into two flat disks about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat whisk together sugar, flour and salt. Whisk in milk and cook until thickened whisking throughout. It will take about 6 minutes. The mixture needs to be thick.
- Stir a small amount of the hot mixture into the egg yolks and once mixed, return the egg yolks to the hot mixture. Add butter and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.
- Add heavy cream to a bowl and beat with a hand mixer. When close to the consistency you want, add confectioners sugar and vanilla to taste and continue beating until you have medium but not stiff peaks, about 2-3 minutes.
- Slice 3 bananas into cooked crust and top with filling. Top with whipped cream.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- This recipe makes enough pie crust for 2 pies, freeze the second one for another use.
- Use firm bananas with just a few brown speckles on the peels.
- Make sure you allow your custard/pudding to firm up on the stove while cooking to avoid it being a runny cream pie. It will set a little after you refrigerate it but it needs to cook to thickness first.
- Add slices of bananas to the top for more banana flavor.
- Try topping with whipped cream.