Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie

Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie

Banana cream pie: it’s a cool, refreshing treat that’s appropriate at any time of the year. I’m not fantastic at putting the pie together, but even I can manage this cream-based filling stuffed with bananas at the perfect stage of ripeness. Biting into this pie is much like eating the family-favorite banana pudding, only in pie form–and it’s easy to whip up, whether I want to make a single pie for a special dessert or I need to make a couple to take to the latest family gathering. Everyone is always eager to try out a slice, and in many cases, they come sneaking back for seconds!

While the filling is fantastic warm, you do need to leave plenty of time to make the pie–or even make it the night before to give it plenty of time to set.

Banana-Cream-Pie
Credit: Jeffreyww/Flickr

The Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups milk–whole milk works best, but 2% will do in a pinch
  • 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten with a fork
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 small bananas, ripe

For the crust:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs–you can make your own by grinding graham crackers in a food processor
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

Directions :

Start by creating the crust: combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a small bowl, then press into the bottom of your pie pan. Try to cover both the bottom and the sides; if you come up short, mix a little more of the crust mixture.

Combine the sugar, salt, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Mix well, then set aside.

Scald the milk. You can heat it until steaming, but not boiling, in a medium saucepan, or scald it in the microwave: heat for 2-3 minutes on high, longer if necessary, depending on the temperature of your microwave. Add the milk and sugar mixture to a heavy saucepan (or add the sugar mixture to your milk pan, if you’ve already heated it over the stovetop.) Cook, stirring regularly until the mixture begins to thicken.

Once the mixture thickens, take a small amount of the liquid and add it to your beaten egg yolks. This will temper the eggs and prevent you from ending up with scrambled eggs as you cook the eggs. Once they’re warmed, stir the egg mixture into the rest of the hot milk mixture. Whisk in the butter until fully melted and incorporated into the rest of the mixture. Remove from the heat, then stir in vanilla.

Set the mixture to the side and allow it to cool until it is no longer hot. Once it cools, slice your bananas into the bottom of the pie shell. Allow the bananas to completely cover the bottom of the pie. Then, pour the cooled pie filling over the top of the bananas. Smooth the top; feel free to swirl in designs if you want to make it extra special.

Chill your pie for several hours, until it is completely cool and the pie filling is set. Top with whipped cream. You can top each slice individually if, like me, you have someone at home who hates whipped cream or decorate the top of the pie with whipped cream before slicing and serving.