This is my go-to recipe for banana cream pie. I promise that you won't be sorry that you took the time to make the pudding by hand—it blows boxed pudding away, there is simply no comparison. I like to blind bake the crust to a crispy golden brown, then remove it from the pie plate for a freestanding pie that is easy to slice or give away.
Why It Works
- Bringing the custard to a bubble deactivates the yolk's starch-dissolving amylase.
- Folding whipped cream into the chilled custard lightens the texture of the finished pie.
- Alternating layers of ripe sliced bananas infuse the pie with a subtle banana flavor.
- Yield:Makes one 9-inch pie
- Active time: 40 minutes
- Total time:6 hours 40 minutes
- For the Custard:
- 5 ounces (2/3 cup; 140g) granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 ounces (1/4 cup; 40g) cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use the same weight or half as much by volume
- 2 large eggs (3 1/2 ounces; 100g)
- 3 large egg yolks (2 ounces; 60g)
- 2 cups (455g) whole milk
- 2 ounces unsalted butter (4 tablespoons; 60g), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- For the Topping:
- 1 cup (225g) heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons (1 ounce; 30g) powdered sugar
- For Assembling the Pie:
- 3/4 cup (170g) heavy cream
- 3 ripe bananas, sliced crosswise into 1/8-inch thick rounds
- 1/2 recipe Old-Fashioned Flaky Pie Dough, blind-baked per directions
For the Custard: In a 2-quart stainless steel saucier, whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt together, followed by eggs and egg yolks, then milk until well combined.
Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the custard begins to thicken, about 8 minutes. Once it thickens, continue to whisk, pausing every few seconds to check for bubbling, about 1 minute. When it begins to bubble, set a timer and continue whisking for 1 minute. This step is important to neutralize a starch-dissolving protein found in egg yolks.
Off-heat, whisk in butter and vanilla extract until fully incorporated. Strain custard through a fine-mesh sieve set over a heatproof medium bowl. Immediately place plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool to room temperature (about 1 hour), then refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.
Meanwhile, for the Topping: In the bowl of the stand mixer with the whisk attachment, combine heavy cream and powdered sugar. Whip at medium-high speed until thick peaks form (peaks should not be loose or stiff in structure). Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside. (Alternatively, this can be done by hand; combine the cream and sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until thick peaks form).
To Assemble the Pie: Whisk the chilled custard until smooth.
In the same stand mixer bowl with whisk attachment, whip heavy cream at medium-high speed until thick peaks form. (Alternatively, this can be done by hand; whisk the cream in a medium bowl until thick peaks form). Using a flexible spatula, add to the custard and fold until well combined.
Using an offset spatula, spread a third of the custard mixture over the bottom of the crust, top with a single layer of bananas, then repeat until all of the custard and bananas have been used. Evenly spread whipped cream over the top. Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours. Slice and serve.