Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie
Old fashioned banana cream pie is made without pudding on a prebaked pie crust. The custard filling is made from scratch and tastes amazing!
Old fashioned banana cream pie is a classic American recipe. It’s easy to make from scratch and a good use for ripe bananas! The banana and whipped cream topping makes the pie look as good as it tastes. You can serve this dessert all year round, but I like it in the summer since it’s meant to be served cold.
Why this recipe works: The custard filling is made from scratch without pudding mix, which in my opinion makes it taste ten times better. I do the same for my coconut cream pie. You can use a homemade or store-bought pie dough in this recipe.
How to make banana cream pie
- Make the filling: Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, milk and cream in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until thickened.
- Temper egg yolks: Add about 1/4 cup of the warm mixture to the egg yolks and whisk to combine. Add the mixture back to the saucepan and whisk until combined.
- Cook mixture over medium until thickened.
- Remove saucepan from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla, then transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Cover and cool to room temperature.
- Stir the sliced bananas into the custard mixture by hand, then transfer filling to pre-baked pie crust. Cover and chill the pie for at least 4 hours.
Pie crust for banana cream pie
A classic banana cream pie is made with a pre-baked pie crust. The flaky crust complements the custard filling quite well. You can learn how to par-bake pie dough with either homemade pie dough or store-bought pie dough. However, I find that store-bought pie crusts that are in the aluminum pie plate are slightly smaller than typical pies and therefore bake faster than homemade pie crusts.
If you prefer other types of crust, you can make or buy a graham cracker pie crust or nilla wafer pie crust. Keep in mind that the filling is for a pie made in a standard 9-inch pie plate.
For a thick, creamy custard filling, I suggest you keep a close eye on the mixture while it’s cooking. Stir frequently and consistently so the filling does not scorch. Remember to temper the egg yolks otherwise you’ll scramble the eggs and the filling won’t be smooth.
Be patient when letting the filling cool to room temperature. If the mixture is still warm, the banana slices will brown and get mushy. To prevent brown bananas in banana cream pie, don’t slice the bananas until you are ready to mix them into the filling. This also applies for the garnish—wait until you’re ready to serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
The filling was undercooked. The mixture should be thick and should easily coat the back of a spoon. The other culprit could be the wrong measurements. I suggest using a kitchen scale for accurate measurements.
Bananas will turn brown when exposed to air for too long. I suggest waiting until you’re ready to serve the pie before adding banana slices as garnish. Alternatively, you can do a very thin coating of lemon juice on the bananas to prevent browning.
When stored covered in the refrigerator, this pie will last up to 5 days.
Yes. Chill the pie completely so the filling is set and then wrap the ungarnished pie in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze on a flat surface for up to 2 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before garnishing and serving.
Here are a few of my favorite banana recipes!
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Get the Recipe: Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie
- One 9-inch pie crust, prebaked
- 1 ½ cups (360 ml) milk, whole or low-fat
- 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
- ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 large egg yolks, slightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, or bean paste
- 3 ripe bananas, sliced
- Whipped cream, for garnish
- In a large saucepan set over medium heat, whisk together the heavy cream, milk, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Cook until the mixture is thickened, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Place the egg yolks in a small mixing bowl and beat them slightly. When the milk mixture is thick, slowly whisk about ¼ cup of it into the egg yolks until well combined. Whisk the mixture back into the saucepan.
- Continue to cook over medium heat stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes, until thickened. Again, it should cover the back of a spoon with a thick coating. If it's not thick, continue cooking up to 10 minutes (see notes).
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap to the top of it, then allow it to cool until it’s nearly room temperature.
- Fold the sliced bananas into the custard, then pour the filling into the pie shell.
- Return the plastic wrap to the surface of the pie, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or ideally overnight, until cooled and fully set. When ready to serve, top the pie with whipped cream, as desired.