Classic banana cream pie has a made-from-scratch vanilla custard filling, sliced fresh bananas, and mounds of whipped cream on top. It’s usually made in a flaky baked pie crust, but graham cracker crust can be used as well.
Pie is pure comfort food, and this delicious version of banana cream pie will not disappoint.
Dorie’s Banana Cream Pie Recipe
This banana cream pie is fabulous, though I would put it into a different bracket than your everyday version of banana cream pie. Dorie Greenspan’s version should be called Banana Holiday Pie or even Brown Sugar Banana Pie. A delicious twist on the standard, with a subtle sweetness to it. It’s tasty, creamy, and smooth and comes together beautifully!
How to Make Banana Cream Pie from Scratch
You’ll notice a slight difference in this pie when compared to the standard banana cream pie recipes out there. The pastry cream uses brown instead of white sugar and there’s the addition of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Ingredients you will need for this pie
- Whole milk gives the custard its richness.
- You only need the egg yolks, but you can use the whites to make the meringue on this homemade banana pudding.
- Light brown sugar is used in this recipe instead of white sugar.
- Cornstarch is used for thickening the custard.
- This pie is flavored with ground cinnamon and freshly ground nutmeg.
- Other ingredients include salt, pure vanilla extract, and cold unsalted butter.
- The bananas should be ripe but firm.
- We use a refrigerated single pie crust, but if you have a favorite from scratch recipe that works too!
- For the topping you need heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, pure vanilla extract, and sour cream.
Helpful kitchen tools:
How to Make Banana Cream Pie
Sure, you could make a banana cream pie using an instant pudding mix, but the little bit of extra effort it takes to make this pie from scratch is totally worth it.
Make the Custard: banana cream pie filling from scratch
- Put milk on to boil. Whisk the egg yolks together with the brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until well blended and thick.
- Whisking without stopping, drizzle in about ¼ cup of the hot milk – this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they won’t curdle – then, still whisking, add the remainder of the milk
in a steady stream. Whisking constantly bring the mixture to a boil.
- Whisk in the vanilla extract.
- Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk in the butter. Chill the custard.
To assemble the pie
- Beat the cream until it just starts to thicken. Beat in the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla. Beat until the cream holds firm peaks. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently fold in the sour cream. Peel and slice the bananas.
- Spread about one quarter of the custard over the bottom of the pie crust and top with half of the banana slices. Repeat, adding a thin layer of pastry cream and the remaining bananas, then smooth the rest of the pastry cream over the last layer bananas.
- Spoon the whipped cream over the filling and spread it evenly to the edges of the custard.
- Decorate the top of the pie however you like.
Storing and Serving This Pie
Does banana cream pie need to be refrigerated?
Banana cream pie should be refrigerated if you aren’t going to serve it right away.
Can I freeze banana cream pie?
Yes, you can freeze banana cream pie. Simply move it to the fridge 12-24 hours before serving.
Serving Notes from Dorie
I like to serve the pie as soon as it is assembled, when the pastry cream and whipped cream are cold but not really chilled and the crust has not been refrigerated. I think this is when the pie is at its best – but, trust me, it will still be wonderful if you serve it from the fridge. For me, this is a go-with-coffee pie.
More pie recipes you will love
- My favorite holiday pie of all time is this French Silk Pie.
- Fresh blueberry pie is always a beautiful addition to your table.
- Strawberry pie is so gorgeous it’s always the star of the show.
- I don’t remember a Thanksgiving without my favorite Pumpkin Pie.
- And if you need something a little quicker, this No Bake Peanut Butter Pie is a crowd pleaser.
Banana Cream Pie
IMPORTANT - There are often Frequently Asked Questions within the blog post that you may find helpful. Simply scroll back up to read them!Print It Rate It
For the Pie:
- 2 cups whole milk
- 6 large egg yolks
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar pressed through a sieve
- 1/3 cup cornstarch sifted
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into bits
- 3 ripe but firm bananas
- 1 9-inch single crust fully baked and cooled
For the Topping:
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar sifted
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
To Make the Custard:
- Bring the milk to a boil.
- Meanwhile, in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the yolks together with the brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until well blended and thick.
- Whisking without stopping, drizzle in about ¼ cup of the hot milk – this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they won’t curdle – then, still whisking, add the remainder of the milk in a steady stream. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a boil. Boil, still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes before removing from the heat.
- Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are fully incorporated and the custard is smooth and silky.
- You can either press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the custard to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the custard until cold or, if you want to cool the custard quickly put the bowl into a large bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water and stir occasionally until the custard is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes.
- When you are ready to assemble the pie, peel the bananas and cut them on a shallow diagonal into ¼-inch-thick slices.
- Whisk the cold custard vigorously to loosen it, and spread about one quarter of it over the bottom of the piecrust – it will be a thin layer. Top with half of the banana slices.
- Repeat, adding a thin layer of pastry cream and the remaining bananas, then smooth the rest of the pastry cream over the last layer bananas.
To Make the Topping:
- Beat the cream until it just starts to thicken. Beat in the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until the cream holds firm peaks. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently fold in the sour cream.
- Spoon the whipped cream over the filling and spread it evenly to the edges of the custard. Serve, or refrigerate until needed.
Expert Tips & FAQs
whipped cream are cold but not really chilled and the crust has not been refrigerated. I
think this is when the pie is at its best – but, trust me, it will still be wonderful if you serve it from the fridge. For me, this is a go-with-coffee pie. Storing: The pastry cream can be made ahead, and you can keep the assembled pie in
the fridge for a few hours.
I found this pie recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s cookbook Baking From My Home to Yours on pages 342 and 343. I first baked it in April of 2009 as part of the Tuesdays With Dorie baking group. This recipe was originally published here on Apr 6, 2009