Creamy, perfectly set banana cream pie is a joy to eat and a seriously impressive dessert. Made with an easy, homemade crust, this pie is simply perfection.
Table of Contents
- Icing sugar/Powdered sugar.
- Ice water.
- Cream. Heavy/ Whipping cream.
- Cornstarch / Cornflour.
- Flour. Cake flour / All purpose flour.
- Sugar. White sugar / Granulated sugar.
Tips for making the best banana cream pie
- Crust: This pie works well with both a cookie crust or a pastry crust. The recipe shared here is a very simple pastry and requires no rolling out. Simply press the dough into the pie plate after blending together. You can also make it by hand by rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients before adding the egg and water to form a dough. By freezing the dough before blind-baking until golden and crisp, you ensure the dough doesn’t shrink much.
- Filling: For a custard filling that is super creamy and perfectly set, I like using egg yolks from extra-large eggs along with cornstarch (cornflour) and flour. Cook the custard until thick and glossy. Passing the custard through a fine mesh sieve will remove any flour lumps or bits of cooked egg. Whisking continuously while the custard cooks over medium-low heat will also prevent this.
- Bananas: I like a lot of bananas in my banana cream pie. Two layers of bananas will not only add more banana flavor but also adds some texture to the finished pie. The layer of bananas under the custard will be protected and won’t brown if served within 24 hours. Top the pie with more bananas just before serving to prevent them from browning.
- Whipped cream: No cream pie is complete without a mountain of whipped cream on top. For the perfect homemade whipped cream, whisk heavy or whipping cream with powdered or icing sugar. If using a mixer, use the slowest speed. This might take longer but whipping cream slowly creates more stable air bubbles that won’t collapse quickly and cause the cream to split and weep. Pipe the cream onto the banana cream pie with a star tip nozzle or simply dollop on before slicing and serving.
How to make banana cream pie
- Make the crust: Combine the flour, powdered sugar, cold butter, ice water and egg yolk in the bowl of a food processor then pulse until the dough comes together in a ball. Press the dough into a pie plate then transfer to the freezer to chill while you preheat the oven. Line the chilled dough with parchment paper and add baking or pie weights like raw rice or beans. Place the crust in the oven and allow to bake for 15 minutes then remove the parchment paper and weight and bake for another 10-15 minutes until lightly golden brown. Remove and allow to chill.
- Make the custard: Heat the milk, sugar and cream in a medium saucepan set over medium heat until just before it starts to boil. Stir regularly to allow the sugar to dissolve. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the flours until smooth. Slowly ladle in a spoonful of the hot milk mixture to temper the eggs, whisking continuously. Pour the egg mixture into the remaining milk and cook over low heat, whisking continuously until thick and glossy. Remove from the heat, pass through a fine mesh sieve to get rid of any lumps then whisk in the butter.
- Assemble the pie: Spread two tablespoons of custard onto the bottom of the baked crust. Add a layer of sliced bananas then add the remaining custard. Spray a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap with cooking spray then press onto the surface of the custard. This will prevent the custard from forming a skin. Place in the fridge and allow to chill for at least 4-6 hours but ideally overnight.
- Serve: Once you are ready to serve, top the chilled pie with another layer of sliced bananas and a generous amount of whipped cream then serve immediately.
Can I make banana cream pie ahead?
Make the pie up to a day in advance and simply top with fresh sliced bananas and whipped cream before serving. Alternatively, the crust can be made and blind baked 2-3 days in advance. I wouldn’t recommend freezing banana cream pie however the pastry can be wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months.
Banana Cream Pie
For the crust
- 1½ cups flour
- 1/3 cup icing / powdered sugar
- ½ cup cold butter cubed
- 1 egg yolk
- 1-2 tbsp ice water
For the filling
- 1½ cup milk
- ½ cup heavy / whipping cream
- 4 egg yolks
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch / cornflour
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp butter
- pinch of salt
- 4 large bananas thinly sliced
For the whipped cream
- 2 cups cream
- ¼ cup sifted icing / powdered sugar
- Combine all the ingredients for the crust in a food processor and pulse until the dough comes together into a ball.
- Transfer the dough to a pie plate and press into the base and up the sides in an even layer. Smooth and crimp the edges.
- Place the pie plate into the freezer for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
- When the dough has chilled, dock with a fork (to create small holes for air to escape). Line the pastry with parchment paper, add baking weights (raw beans or rice work well). Place in the oven and Allow the pastry to blind bake for 15 minutes. Remove the baking weights and parchment paper and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- To make the filling, heat the milk, cream and sugar over medium heat in a saucepan. Take care not to allow it to catch and burn.
- In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and flours together. Slowly whisk in a ladle-full of the hot milk mixture to temper the eggs.
- Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk and whilst whisking continuously, allow to thicken and cook. The mixture will become thick and shiny.
- Remove the custard from the heat and pass through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps. Whisk in the butter.
- Spread two tablespoons of custard onto the base of the pie crust. Follow with an even layer of sliced bananas. Top with the remaining custard. Spray a piece of parchment paper with cooking spray and press onto the surface of the custard to avoid a skin forming.
- Place in the fridge to set for 4-6 hours.
- When you're ready to serve, whisk the cream with the sugar until firm peaks form. Top the pie with more sliced bananas and add the whipped cream before serving.