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This Banana Cream Pie is made entirely from scratch with a homemade pie crust, creamy vanilla filling, and layers of sliced bananas in every bite. Infused with brown butter for a classic dessert that will make you swoon!
The Best Banana Cream Pie
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 and it really takes this banana pie to the next level.
Banana cream pie makes a great summertime dessert but I enjoy it year-round. Just be sure to keep it chilled before serving!
What You’ll Need
The ingredients in banana cream pie are simple and many are staples you likely already have on hand.
For the Crust
- Wet ingredients – Unsalted butter, granulated sugar, egg, and ice water.
- Dry ingredients – Cake flour, all-purpose flour, salt.
For The Filling
- Wet ingredients – Unsalted butter, egg yolks, granulated sugar, whole milk, heavy cream, vanilla extract.
- Dry ingredients – Salt and cornstarch.
- Banana – You want ripe bananas that are either all yellow or lightly spotted. Avoid the browned bananas you’d use in banana bread.
- Whipped cream – I highly, highly recommend making homemade whipped cream for the topping.
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Banana Cream Pie
Everything about today’s recipe is made completely from scratch. There’s no packaged pie crust or pudding mix in today’s recipe!
Make the brown butter. Whisk the butter in a small saucepan until melted. The butter will foam and then subside. Cook until brown bits develop and the butter turns a light golden color. Line a bowl with foil. Pour the brown butter into the bowl. Freeze for an hour.
Make the dough. Cut the solidified brown butter into chunks. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Carefully cut in the eggs, then cut in the butter. Fold in the water.
Knead & chill. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface to get it to come together. Divide in half and flatten into discs. Wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Make the custard filling. Brown the butter. Whisk together the sugar, egg yolks, salt, and cornstarch. Heat the milk and heavy cream until bubbles begin to form.
Gradually add the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return to heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the consistency of warm pudding is reached.
Remove from heat to whisk in the brown butter and vanilla. Press through a fine-mesh sieve. Cover and refrigerate.
Bake the pie crust. Roll one disc of pie dough out and place in a 9-inch pan, trimming to fit with a 1-inch overhang. Flute the edges and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Line with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the pie weights and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
Assemble the pie. Cut bananas into ¼-inch thick slices. Arrange over the bottom of the crust, then spread the chilled custard over the bananas. Add the remaining bananas and top with the remaining custard.
Garnish and serve. Just before serving, top with whipped cream and more sliced bananas if desired.
Tips for Success
For the best banana pie, follow these tips.
- Use pure vanilla. Be sure to use 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.
- Prepare the custard in advance. 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.
- Use a graham cracker crust. If you don’t feel like making a crust from scratch, you can easily substitute a graham cracker crust in this recipe.
- Use bananas that are ripe – but not too ripe. The perfect bananas for banana cream pie are completely yellow or yellow with minimal spotting. While overripe bananas are ideal for most baked goods, this pie is the exception.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
Can I Make This in Advance?
Yes, you can make both the entire pie and parts of it in advance.
The fully assembled pie can be made up to 4 days in advance. Add the banana topping just before serving.
The pie crust dough will last in the fridge for up to 3 days or up to 3 months in the freezer. The crust can also be blind-baked a day in advance.
The filling can be made a day in advance as well and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
How to Store Leftovers
- 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.
- Can I freeze banana cream pie? Yes, you can freeze banana cream pie! In fact, it’s actually delicious frozen. Cover the top with plastic wrap and foil, then freeze for up to 3 months. Let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes or so before cutting to serve frozen or thaw in the fridge.
More Banana Recipes:
- No-Bake Banana Split Cake
- Banana Bran Muffins
- Easy Banana Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting
- Banana Nutella Cupcakes
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