In our house, bananas rule!
We are all card-carrying banana lovers, especially when they are fresh bananas used in a dessert. If you are also a banana dessert lover and haven’t seen THE Banana Cake recipe, you should check out
If you love bananas, you are going to love this banana cream pie recipe. It’s filled with a rich and creamy vanilla custard and layered with fresh bananas.
The banana cream pie filling is made with homemade pastry cream and sliced fresh bananas.
While it’s true that you can make this banana cream pie using pudding, I highly recommend you try your hand at making this pastry cream. The pastry cream in this recipe is the same pastry cream that is used to fill the layers in the Swedish Birthday Cake recipe, and that is served with the Apple Cake.
However, for this recipe, I make sure it’s extra thick and creamy. The filling of this pie is made by layering fresh bananas with pastry cream to create what is a banana flavor custard. Top the pie with freshly whipped cream and fresh bananas.
Cream pies can be intimidating but are EASY to pull together. They make a great addition to a spring-themed meal – like Easter dinner. I also love coconut cream pie.
It’s time to build the Best Banana Cream Pie!
This pie is best if you make the pie crust and pastry cream on the day before you plan to assemble it. That way, you know everything is nice and cold.
PRO-TIP: Before you store the pastry cream in the fridge make sure to put a layer of plastic wrap over the surface of the cream. Gently press the plastic wrap to make sure it has contact with the entire surface. This will prevent a skin from forming on top of the cream. Ours didn’t set up quite long enough before we did the photos. But it was still super delicious.
This is a classic banana cream pie, the kind your Grandma may have made. It uses traditional pie crust. However, two really delicious alternatives to this pie crust are a simple graham cracker crust or a pie crust made with Vanilla Wafers. Both of these crusts are made with about a half cup of crumbs plus one-third cup of sugar and one-third cup of butter. Then you can press it into the pie plate and bake it at 350℉. (See notes in the recipe card)
There are probably as many pie crust recipes out in the universe as there are types of pie! In the recipe, you will find my recipe for a Basic Butter Pie Crust. I also have a fantastic recipe for a Buttermilk Pie Crust. Using the food processor to make your pie crust makes them virtually fail-proof. I’ve also found over the years that I get the best results with pie crust if it is refrigerated overnight. This step gives you a flakier and more tender baked pie crust.
If you are intimidated by making a crust, buy a roll of ready-made crust. You can usually find this in the freezer section of your local grocery store. You can even use a graham cracker crust if you like. This way you get the fun of making a fantastic pie without the stress.
PRO TIP: The crust for this pie will need to be blind baked (baked before being filled). I use ceramic pie weights. You can also use rice or beans. Weighting the crust ensures that it doesn’t puff up during the baking process.
Tips for blind baking a pie crust:
- Refrigerate before baking — After you roll out the pie crust and get it into your pie pan, put it back in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. But you can refrigerate the crust overnight.
- Line the crust with parchment paper and add the pie weights — You can use ceramic pie weights or dried beans.
PRO TIP: Use a few crushed graham crackers (rather than flour) when you roll out your dough. Having a dusting of graham crackers baked into both sides helps the resulting cooked crust stay crispy under all that banana deliciousness!
Making pastry cream isn’t as hard as it sounds. The essential skill that you need to master to make pastry cream or custard is constant whisking. It takes a little patience to get the pastry cream thick enough, but the ingredients are straightforward. Whole milk, heavy cream, sugar, and egg yolks. Cornstarch helps to thicken the cream and a little vanilla bean to give it a really rich vanilla flavor.
Assembly – Whipped Cream and Fresh Bananas
You will need a crust (at room temp or colder), the chilled pastry cream, freshly whipped cream, and about six bananas. The banana cream pie filling is made by layering the pastry cream with sliced bananas. Make sure that your bananas are very ripe, especially for the filling. The banana that is used to decorate the cake can be a little less ripe since less ripe bananas are less brown.
PRO TIP #3: You can make the crust and pastry cream a day ahead. You can even assemble your pie in advance. However, don’t decorate the top until the day you intend to eat the pie. The whipped cream will hold up pretty well, but the sliced bananas on the top of the pie will start to turn brown in hours.
This recipe may feel a bit different, as we’ve given it to you in component parts, rather than strict directions. At Foodology Geek we encourage you to think about cooking like this. Knowing how things break down allows you to make it your own! In this case, you might consider adding different berries to your layers or decoration! What are the favorites in your household
We love to hear from you! Leave us a comment to let us know about the pie you created! Snap a photo and tag @foodologygeek or #foodologygeek
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Banana Cream Pie with Whipped Cream and Fresh Bananas
PASTRY CREAM FILLING
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream freshly whipped
- 1 ½ banana sliced
- Add the flour, sugar, and salt to food processor with metal blade attachment. Pulse a few times to blend dry ingredients.
- Add the diced butter to the bowl. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
- Add the ice water via the liquid cup dispenser. Pulse until the mixture comes together.
- Turn out on a lightly floured surface. Smooth together and knead a few times.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (At least 4 hours)
ROLLING OUT THE PIE CRUST
- Roll out the pie dough on a floured surface. (You can substitute in finely graham cracker crumbs here)
- Shoot for a 13 to 14-inch circle.
- The dough should be about 1/8th of an inch thick.
- Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate.
- Be careful not to stretch the dough here. Stretched pie dough has a tendency to spring back when it is baked.
- Trim any overhang, leaving about 1 inch around the pie plate.
- Fold the excess dough under the pie crust and fashion the edges by crimping
- Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork.
- Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour and up to overnight.
BAKING THE PIE CRUST
- Preheat the oven to 425℉.
- Line the chilled dough with foil and fill with beans or pie weights.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the foil and pie weights.
- Reduce the temperature to 375℉.
- Bake until the bottom looks dry and the edges are golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Let the pie crust cool on a rack while you prepare the filling.
- Mix the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch in a bowl. Whisk until sugar has dissolved (and the mixture has become lighter in color).
- Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan. Add the vanilla pod. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- TEMPER THE EGGS: While stirring the egg mixture continuously, add about one cup of the hot mixture into the eggs. I usually use a ladle or measuring up for this step. Vigorously whisk the eggs so that the hot milk doesn't cook them! (I promise this is the hardest step)
- Pour the eggs mixture into the pot with the rest of the milk. Vigorously whisk until combined.
- Place the pot back on the heat. Heat while stirring continuously with the whisk until the mixture begins to thicken. Continue to cook for up to another 5 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and continue to stir for another 2 minutes. Transfer the pastry cream into a bowl and remove the vanilla pod. Let cool at room temperature.
- Once at room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and then refrigerate.
- Once the pie crust and the pastry cream are completely cooled, start to put the pie together.
- Put one-third of the pastry cream into the pie crust. Spread evenly to distribute.
- Add a layer of sliced bananas on top of the pastry cream.
- Follow with another third of the pastry cream and another layer of sliced bananas.
- Top with the last third of the pastry cream. [You will end up with cream->bananas->cream->bananas->cream.]
- Decorate the top with a bit of whipped cream and more sliced bananas. [I also added some shaved almonds to the top of the one I made.]
For the graham cracker crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a mixing bowl and mix until well combined. Add the melted butter and stir until fully combined and all of the crumbs are moistened.
Scoop the mixture into a 9-9.5 inch pie plate and firmly press it down into an even layer on the bottom and up around the sides of the dish.
Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes while you make the filling.
Keep oven temperature at 350°F.