Classic Banana Cream Pie Recipe

Think fast: What does a banana cream pie taste like!? You can probably conjure an idea of its flavor: a sweet, creamy, and of course banana-heavy tastiness. But when's the last time you've actually ever had a banana cream pie? It's one of those desserts so well known to our culture, yet rarely actually eaten. But once you try this recipe from Miram Hahn of Youcare-Selfcare, you're never again going to wonder exactly what a banana cream pie tastes like, but rather why you waited so long to actually make one.

This banana cream pie is a classic indeed, like the name says — it would have tasted just right to those from decades long gone following a Sunday supper. But this exact pie recipe is sure to please folks many years and many generations from now. After all, who can so no to an all-butter, from-scratch pie crust? According to Hahn, "this is a special occasion pie. It goes great with any meal — but is a special addition to a holiday meal."

Got one of those coming up? Birthday? Anniversary? Day ending in Y? Then it's a good time to have found this recipe.

Gather your ingredients for this banana cream pie

It takes a decent number of ingredients to make this pie, but all of them are easy to find. You'll need all-purpose flour, a good amount of sugar, some salt, a decent portion of unsalted butter, some ice water, eggs, cornstarch, milk, vanilla extract, whipped cream or whipped topping, and some ground cinnamon (both for use in the pie and more for topping it). Oh, and bananas.

"The secret ingredient here is the cinnamon. It adds a spicy, kind of woody taste that really enhances the cream filling," Hahn says.

Prepare the pie crust

"Okay so yes, this one does take some time and some experience in the kitchen," Hahn admits, adding, "When you make the pie crust from scratch, it is a really nice upgrade from buying a pre-made frozen crust. It is super buttery and delicious! The crust is actually easy, as long as you have a food processor to do the heavy lifting. Rolling it out to fit in the pie plate can be a little tricky, but a little un-evenness around the edges lets everyone know it is homemade, so no need to fret over that."

Preheat the oven to 425 F, and as it heats up, add the flour, 4 tablespoons sugar, and some salt to a food processor. Combine these in the food processor, then add 1 cup of the butter (cubed and chilled) and the ice water. Pulse until the mixture forms a dough ball.

Next, take the dough out of the food processor and form it into a ball, then wrap that in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Once it's thoroughly chilled, flour a large board and roll out the dough big enough to fit into your pie pan and place it in. Poke the pie crust several times with a fork — "this helps it release steam while it is cooking," Hahn explains. Then cut a round piece of parchment paper to fit in the pie tin and up its sides. Fill the concavity of the paper with some foil and press down into the center. This will hold the crust down so it doesn't puff out during cooking.

Bake the pie crust

The crust is finally ready! To bake, that is. Blind-bake the crust (with the parchment paper and foil and all) for 15 minutes. Then take it out of the oven, remove the parchment and foil, and brush the par-baked crust with a beaten egg. Next, slide some foil underneath the pie plate and bring it over the edges of the pie to protect its edges from browning too much.

Reduce the oven temperature to 375 F and bake the crust for 25 to 30 minutes more, or until the crust looks golden.

Prepare the banana cream filling

For the filling, first beat 2 eggs and 2 extra egg whites; set these aside. Then add some more sugar, cornstarch, salt, and milk to a medium pot. Cook these on medium-high heat, whisking continuously, for 5 minutes. Then lower the heat to medium and cook for 5 to 10 more minutes, until the mixture is thickened.

Remove a cup of the milk mixture and add it to the eggs while whisking, then add this mixture to the pot. "This helps dilute the eggs so they don't start cooking in the full batch of the hot liquid," Hahn explains. No one wants scrambled eggs in their custard, after all.

Transfer the filling to a bowl and add the vanilla, cinnamon, and the rest of the butter. Stir until the butter is melted. Finally, place some plastic wrap on the surface of the mixture in the bowl and let it sit in the fridge for an hour. (If you just cover the bowl and not the custard itself, the custard will develop a "skin." Let's avoid that.)

Assemble and chill the pie

Now pour a thin layer of the custard into the crust, followed by a layer of sliced bananas, and then the rest of the custard. Cover and chill the pie in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours, or overnight.

Right before serving the pie, add a layer of whipped topping on top of the pie and add some freshly sliced bananas. Sprinkle it with additional cinnamon if desired. And enjoy!

As for serving, Hahn does offer up some words of advice on making the pie look as fresh as possible: "You want to add the bananas to the top right before serving. If you don't finish the pie during the first serving, you can just remove the bananas on the part of the pie that is left and add fresh ones before serving again. It will be good for up to 5 days if you just refresh the topping. You can also add crushed graham cracker crumbs to the top if you need to make the whipped topping look more presentable."

Classic Banana Cream Pie Recipe
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Banana cream pie is the perfect summer dessert recipe for for a dinner party, the 4th of July, or any other day ending in Y.
Prep Time
5.5
hours
Cook Time
50
minutes
Servings
12
Slices
banana cream pie slice on plate
Total time: 6.33 hours
Ingredients
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 ½ cups sugar, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 ¼ cup butter, divided
  • ¼ cup ice water
  • 5 eggs, divided
  • ¼ cup corn starch
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for topping
  • 2 ripe bananas, divided
  • 1 cup whipped topping (or whipped cream)
Directions
  1. Add the flour, ¼ cup sugar, and ½ teaspoon salt to a food processor. Blend to combine, then add 1 cup of the butter (cubed and chilled) and the ice water. Pulse until the mixture forms a dough.
  2. Take dough out of the food processor and form it into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. As the dough chills, preheat the oven to 425 F.
  4. Flour a large board and roll out the dough in a circle big enough to fit into your pie pan. Place the dough in the pan, making sure that it goes fully up the sides and creates an edge.
  5. Poke the pie crust several times with a fork (this helps it release steam while it is cooking).
  6. Cut a round piece of parchment paper to fit in the pie and up the sides. Fill the center of this with some foil and press down into the center.
  7. Bake crust (with the parchment paper and foil) for 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the crust from the oven, remove the foil and parchment, and brush crust the crust with 1 beaten egg. Slide some foil underneath the pie plate and bring it up over the edges of the pie crust to protect the edges from browning too much as it continues to cook.
  9. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 F and bake the crust for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it looks golden.
  10. For the filling, beat 2 eggs and 2 egg whites in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  11. Add the remaining sugar, cornstarch, remaining salt, and milk to a medium pot and cook on medium-high heat, whisking continuously, for 5 minutes.
  12. Lower the heat to medium and cook the mixture for 5 to 10 more minutes, until the mixture has thickened.
  13. Remove 1 cup of the milk mixture and add it to the eggs while whisking. Then add this to the pot with the rest of the milk mixture.
  14. Transfer the custard mixture to a bowl and add the vanilla, cinnamon, and the rest of the butter. Stir until the butter is melted.
  15. Place some plastic wrap on the surface of the mixture in the bowl and let it sit in the fridge for 1 hour.
  16. Pour a thin layer of the chilled custard in the prepared pie crust. Thinly slice one banana and place the slices over the custard. Pour the remaining custard over the banana slices.
  17. Cover and chill the pie in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours, or overnight.
  18. Right before serving, spread the whipped topping on top of the pie. Thinly slice the remaining banana and add the slices over the whipped topping. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon.
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