Banana Cream Pie is filled with layers of banana encased in a rich, creamy, vanilla custard, atop a flaky pie crust. It’s a family favorite!
calling all pie lovers
I love a good homemade Banana Cream Pie. It is simply delicious and refreshing!! That cool creamy custard atop layers of bananas is dessert perfection in my book.
Cream pies are by far one of my favorite pies to eat, and this rich and creamy Banana Cream Pie always hits the spot!
Origin. Variations of Banana Cream Pie have been around for centuries, but the classic American Banana Cream Pie we all love became popular in the 1950s. In fact, it is so loved that it has its own day, which is on March 2nd each year.
How to Make Banana Cream Pie
WHISK. To make the custard, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Add the milk slowly, and whisk until combined.
SIMMER. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent the milk from scorching. Once the mixture has reached a simmer, simmer for one minute, until thickened.
COMBINE. Remove from heat and pour about ½ cup of the mixture into the egg yolks, quickly stirring to prevent the eggs from curdling. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the custard mixture, and stir to combine.
- Tempering the eggs. Do not add eggs to hot liquid otherwise, they will cook into scrambled eggs. They must be tempered. This method brings the eggs to a hot temperature without cooking them fully. Once the eggs are hot and fully combined add them all to the main mixture.
SIMMER. Return the pot to the heat and bring the custard back to a simmer. Simmer for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla until smooth.
The custard should thicken up while it simmers on the stove. If it’s runny on the stove, it will be runny in the pie shell.
REFRIGERATE. Pour the custard into a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cooled to room temperature.
To Assemble the Pie
BANANAS. Slice three of the bananas into the cooled pie crust.
CUSTARD. Pour the custard over the top of the bananas, spreading evenly.
- Add sliced bananas to the top right before serving so they are fresh and don’t get brown and mushy.
CHILL. Refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to overnight.
GARNISH & SERVE. Just before serving, pipe or spread the Whipped Cream or Cool Whip on top of the pie, and garnish with slices of the remaining banana.
Make a Homemade Pie crust from scratch or use pie crust dough from the freezer section at your grocery store.
To change things up a bit, make a vanilla wafer, Graham Cracker, or golden oreo crust.
Blind bake. Blind baking pie crust just means that it is baked before adding the pie filling. After the dough has been placed into the pie plate, poke holes all over the bottom and sides of the dough. This helps to keep the crust from shrinking.
Add pie weights or cover the pie dough with parchment paper and fill the pie with dry beans and then bake in the oven.
Brown bananas. The bananas that are covered with the custard will not brown, but the bananas that are often placed decoratively on top will. Slow the process down by treating them with citrus juice or Ball’s Fresh Fruit powder.
Runny custard. Using whole milk will help create a creamy custard, but 2% will also work. Cook the custard until it thickens.
- To check to see if the custard is thick enough, simply dip the back of a spoon into the custard. It should be thick enough that it will not drip off the spoon.
- Next, run your finger right through the middle of the spoon. The custard should stay in two separate sections and not run together. If it drips off the spoon or forms back into one after separating, then it needs to cook longer.
- If the custard isn’t setting after being cooked sufficiently, add a little more cornstarch. In a separate bowl, mix together 1-2 teaspoons of cornstarch with an equal amount of cold water. Pour the mixture into the custard and whisk to activate.
Separating the egg yolks. 3 large egg yolks are needed but don’t toss the whites. A couple of easy methods to separate eggs:
- Use the shell. Crack the eggshell in half. Carefully open the egg so that the yolk stays in one of the shells. Allow the whites to drip out of the other shell into a bowl. Transfer only the yolk into the other half of the shell letting the white drip out. Repeat until all the white has been removed.
- Use your fingers or a fork. Crack the egg open over your fingers or a fork. Allow the egg whites to drip between your finger or the prongs of the fork.
- Sprinkle toasted coconut on top of the Whipped Cream.
- Sprinkle cinnamon over the banana layer before pouring in the custard.
- Use a Graham Cracker Crust. Or make a Nilla wafer crust by substituting the graham crackers for an equal amount of vanilla wafers.
- Make your own Cool Whip using heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar. Use a piping tip to create pretty dollops. A Wilton 1M tip works great. Or use a gallon Ziploc bag to pipe out smooth dollops.
This pie already needs to be made several hours AHEAD OF TIME so that it has time to chill and set. Here are a few other ways to prep/make this pie in advance:
- Pie dough. Make the dough for the crust. Wrap it with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days or wrap it again with foil and freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw, if applicable, roll and bake when ready to use.
- Baked crust. Allow the pie crust to cook and wrap it in foil. Store at room temperature for 1-2 days or freeze for 1 month.
- Custard. The filling can be made the day before and stored in the fridge. Add a piece of plastic directly on top of the custard otherwise, an unappetizing skin will form on top.
- Fully assembled pie. Once the pie has been made, store it covered with a piece of plastic directly on top of the custard. It should keep for up to 4 days. Do not add any toppings until right before serving.
STORE leftover pie in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
FREEZE Banana Cream Pie using a freezer-safe container, but keep in mind the texture may not be quite the same.
For more Perfect Pie recipes, try:
- Mud Pie
- Smores Pie
- Strawberry Pie
- Key Lime Pie
- Coconut Cream Pie
- Frozen Peanut Butter Pie
- Sugar Cream Pie
- Buttermilk Pie
Banana Cream Pie Recipe
for the custard:
for the pie:
- 1 9- inch pre-baked pie crust cooled
- 4 bananas sliced
- 2 cups whipped cream
- To make the custard, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Add the milk slowly, and whisk until combined. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent the milk from scorching.
- Once the mixture has reached a simmer, simmer for one minute, until thickened. Remove from heat and pour about ½ cup of the mixture into the egg yolks, quickly stirring to prevent the eggs from curdling. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the custard mixture, and stir to combine. Return the pot to the heat and bring the custard back to a simmer. Simmer for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla until smooth.
- Pour the custard into a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cooled to room temperature.
- To assemble the pie, slice three of the bananas into the cooled pie crust. Pour the custard over the top of the bananas, spreading evenly. Refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to overnight.
- Just before serving, pipe or spread the whipped cream or Cool Whip on top of the pie, and garnish with slices of the remaining banana.