Chef John’s Delicious Banana Cream Pie
To me, there’s almost nothing better than a luscious, homemade banana cream pie for spring and Easter dessert. This recipe uses Nilla wafers (the best) and homemade custard filling. You can opt to use commercial packaged vanilla pudding, but there’s nothing like the real thing. Let me know if you give it a try! – Chef John
Ingredients for the Nilla wafers crust:
60 Nilla wafers
⅓ cup butter, melted
For the custard filling:
3 cup whole milk
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk
3 Tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 firm bananas, sliced and tossed gently in a little lemon juice
For the whipped cream:
2 Cups heavy whipping cream (PLEASE DON’T USE COOL WHIP)
3 Tablespoon powdered sugar
Instructions and Procedure:
Prepare the crust
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9’’ or 10’’ pie plate with cooking spray.
2. Add Nilla wafers to a food processor and pulse until crumbs. (If you don’t have a food processor you can crush them in a ziplock bag, with a rolling pin.)
3. Add cookie crumbs to a bowl and stir in melted butter.
4. Press mixture firmly into the pie plate and up the sides, then bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before adding the custard filling.
For the filling:
(It’s not as difficult as it seems, just be patient with yourself.)
1. Whisk eggs and yolk together in a bowl. Set aside.
2. Add sugar, salt and cornstarch to a large, heavy saucepan and whisk to combine. Add cold milk and stir well.
3. Turn heat on to medium-high and cook, whisking constantly (so that the sugar and milk don’t burn), for 5 minutes.
4. Continue stirring until mixtures comes to a gentle boil. Maintain this gentle boil over medium heat, cooking for 5-7 minutes, until thickened.
5. Add a large spoonful of the hot mixture into the bowl with the eggs. Stir constantly as you add it. This is called “tempering” the eggs. You add the hot mixture a little at a time to the eggs to slowly warm them, without “scrambling” them.
6. Repeat, with several more spoonful’s of hot custard, stirred into the eggs.
7. Add the tempered egg mixture to the saucepan, stirring constantly, until incorporated.
8. Cook, stirring, over medium heat for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla extract.
9. Pour custard into a bowl and lay a piece of plastic wrap onto the top of the custard to prevent a thick film from forming on it as it cools. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
10. After the custard has cooled, spoon half of it into the cooled pie crust.
11. Add a layer of thinly sliced bananas. Add remaining custard and smooth into an even layer.
12. Add heavy cream to a mixing bowl and whip until peaks form, then beat in powdered sugar.
13. Smooth whipped cream over the top of the pie.
14. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 4-6 hours before serving.
15. I like to add banana slices on the edges of the pie. Toss them in some lemon juice before placing so they don’t turn brown!
We LOVE to see your pictures and GOOD LUCK!