This flavorful banana cream pie recipe has brown butter in the crust and in the creamy vanilla filling. The filling is layered between fresh ripe bananas and topped with homemade whipped cream.
If you’ve been around for any length of time you’ll know I’m a sucker for bananas! I eat one every single day. And I enjoy them in banoffee pie, banana pudding cupcakes, banana zucchini muffins, banana oatmeal cookies, and banana bread.
I’m especially a sucker for an old-fashioned banana cream pie! I get so excited over this dessert. It’s very similar to southern banana pudding which I absolutely love.
There’s just something about a banana cream pie made with homemade vanilla pudding and fresh ripe bananas layered into a buttery, flaky pie crust. It’s so deliciously cool and creamy.
I’ve put my own spin on this classic dessert by adding brown butter. I use brown butter all the time! It’s got a sweet nutty aroma that just complements almost any dessert.
How to make banana cream pie from scratch?
Everything about today’s recipe is made completely from scratch.
The filling is a basic vanilla custard that is cooked on the stove and infused with brown butter. You can use regular butter but I highly suggest you take the extra step to brown it. It’s worth it!
Be sure to use a high-quality pure vanilla because this is the main flavor of the custard. You want it to stand out and taste pure. You could even use a vanilla paste.
The custard needs to be chilled for at least 2 hours before you assemble the pie. Just cook, cover, and refrigerate it for up to 1 day before you plan to make the pie.
Blind bake the crust in a deep dish 9-inch pan. You could probably use a regular 9-inch pan but the filling will be very tall, rising up out of the crust. I like the look of the deep dish best but use what you have.
Once the crust has cooled, layer fresh ripened bananas in the bottom. Spread half of the pudding over the bananas then repeat the layers with the remaining bananas and pudding.
Top the banana cream pie with homemade whipped cream and more fresh bananas. Feel free to get as creative as you wish with decorating.
I like things to be simple so I just spread the whipped cream over the center of the pie and piled a handful of banana slices on top.
How to keep bananas from turning brown?
This is a problem you will face especially if you plan to serve the pie a while after it’s made. You can try tossing the slices with a tablespoon of fresh citrus juice. This will slow down the browning but it can also change the flavor. I have found that just one tablespoon of fresh lemon or orange juice isn’t too overpowering.
How to thicken banana cream pie filling?
Getting the custard to thicken can be tricky. It must be cooked long enough to thicken but if you overcook it, it can turn runny again in the fridge.
Cook it just long enough to thicken in the pot. It’s ready as soon as it tightens up and looks like warm pudding. The custard will continue to thicken as it cools but remember if it’s not thick while it’s warm, it won’t be thick when it cools.
Does banana cream pie need to be refrigerated?
Yes, you must store banana cream pie in the refrigerator. It’s best to cover it loosely and wait to top it with whipped cream and banana slices just before serving.
How long does banana cream pie last?
You can keep the pie covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Do keep in mind that the bananas will brown during refrigeration. As mentioned above, it’s best to wait to top the pie with banana slices until you serve it.
Tips for making homemade banana cream pie
- Cover the custard with plastic wrap touching the surface so it doesn’t develop a skin over the top during refrigeration.
- Save yourself some time and make each part ahead of time. Instructions are in the recipe below!
More banana recipes you’ll love
- No-Bake Banana Split Cake
- Banana Bran Muffins
- Easy Banana Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting
- Banana Nutella Cupcakes
Banana Cream Pie
For the crust
- 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter
- 1 and 1/2 cups (180 g) cake flour
- 1 and 1/2 cups (195 g) all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2-3 tablespoons ice water
For the filling
For the topping
- 1 recipe homemade whipped cream
Make the crust
- Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk frequently. Continue to cook until melted. The butter will foam and then subside. Cook until brown bits develop in the bottom of the pan and the butter turns a light golden color, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Line a small bowl with foil, letting some excess to hang over the sides. Pour the brown butter into the bowl, leaving behind the dark bits in the bottom of the pot. Freeze for 1 hour.
- Remove the solidified brown butter from the bowl and cut into small chunks.
- Combine both flours, salt, and sugar (if using) in a large bowl.
- Add the eggs and carefully cut them into the flour with a silicone spatula.
- Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter pieces are smaller than hazelnuts but larger than peas, about 2 minutes.
- Fold in the water, one tablespoon at a time until no dry crumbs remain in the bottom of the bowl. Pick up a chunk of dough and squeeze it together. If it doesn’t come together, add 1-2 tablespoons more water and cut it in.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly flour surface. Knead the dough by smearing it with the heel of your hand just long enough to get it to come together.
- Divide the dough in half and flatten each half into a disk. Wrap the disks tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Make the filling
- Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk frequently. Continue to cook until melted. The butter will foam and then subside. Cook until brown bits develop in the bottom of the pan and the butter turns a light golden color, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Whisk the granulated sugar, egg yolks, salt, and cornstarch together in large bowl until smooth.
- Heat the milk and heavy cream in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming and bubble begin to form around the edges.
- While whisking continuously, gradually add the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture. After all the milk has been added, return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened to the consistency of warm pudding, 4 to 6 minutes.
- Remove from heat and whisk in the brown butter and vanilla.
- Press the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- On a lightly floured surface roll 1 disc of pie dough into 12-inch round. (You can freeze the second disc to use at a later time.) Place in a 9-inch pie plate and trim off any excess along the edges, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fold the excess under so it sits up on the rim of the pie dish. Flute the edges with fingertips. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Adjust oven rack to lower third position and heat oven to 375°F.
- Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. (Make sure the parchment paper is large enough to be lifted out easily.) Bake for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the parchment paper and weights, rotate the pie, and continue baking until the crust is golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
- Peel and slice the bananas about 1/4- inch thick.
- Arrange half the bananas over the bottom of the crust. Spread half of the chilled custard over the bananas. Arrange the remaining bananas over the custard and top with the remaining custard.
Make the topping
- Just before serving, make the whipped cream according to the recipe instructions.
- Spread the whipped cream evenly over top of the pie and garnish with more sliced bananas if desired.
Make ahead tip
- The fully assembled pie will keep for up to 4 days covered lightly and stored in the refrigerator. The bananas will brown so don’t top the pie until you are ready to serve it.
- The pie crust dough can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- The crust can be blind baked up to 1 day in advance. Cover it and store it at room temperature.
- The filling can be made up to 1 day in advance.