Here's the Banana Cream Pie you've all been waiting for. I had to save the best for last! I think of all the pies I made for my Pie Party, this was my favorite. Though the key lime pie was a very close second. I love banana pudding, though I didn't always and I'll tell you why. I don't like artificial banana flavoring and as a kid when we had banana pudding, it was made with instant banana flavored pudding, not vanilla. I thought that was how banana pudding was supposed to be. I liked the bananas and the vanilla wafers, but not the icky banana flavored pudding.
It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized what banana pudding could/should be. For years I made Paula Deen's "Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding" until I started making my own custard. I like Paula's recipe, but when I eat it now I can taste all the chemicals and artificial flavors in the boxed pudding and Cool Whip. Now I don't eat banana pudding often, but when I do, I have to do it right and making it in pie form is right up my alley. I also made a banana pudding pie from Southern Living that was quite amazing. They're both similar in flavor, but this one was easier to make.
I made the crust and the filling the night before I needed it, that way on the day of, all I had to do was assemble it and make the fresh whipped cream. The custard was interesting in that all the ingredients go into the pot at once. You just stir, and stir and stir and just when you think it's never going to thicken- wham! It gets super thick. My pudding actually got a little too thick. I'm not sure if it's because of the recipe or because I overcooked it, but I just thinned it out the chilled pudding with a little milk before I assembled the pie. The end result was creamy, sweet and addicting pie. I was sad when it was all gone. My stepdad has even offered to pay me to make another one. Will do!
Banana Cream Pie from Simply Suppers
For The Crust:
- 2 cups vanilla wafer cookies (about 1 1/4 cups crumbs)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For The Filling:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2-3 ripe bananas
For The Topping:
- 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
To Make The Crust: In a food processor, finely grind the cookies. Add the sugar and pulse until combined. Slowly add the butter and pulse until well incorporated and moist clumps form. Transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Press the crust evenly into the bottom and up the sides. Bake until set, about 8-10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
To Make The Filling: In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, cornstarch, salt, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla. Over medium-low heat, cook, whisking continuously, until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Place plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding and place in the refrigerator and cool completely, at least two hours or overnight.
Assembly: Spoon half the cooled pudding evenly over the bottom of the crust. (My pudding was very thick, so I thinned it out slightly with a little milk prior to assembling the pie). Peel the bananas and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. Create a layer of banana slices, reserving some for garnish. Spoon the remaining pudding evenly over the bananas. Place the pie in the refrigerator to set while making the whipped cream topping.
To Make the Topping: In the large bowl, place the cream, sugar, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form (You want the cream stiff enough to hold it's shape but not over whipped or it will curdle.) Spoon or use a pastry bag to pipe the whipped cream evenly over the pie filling. Chill the pie until set, at least 4 hours or overnight. Before serving garnish with extra vanilla wafers or bananas, if desired.