My mother dies for banana pudding. If you’ve been with me for a while, you know that she uses the boxed version of just about everything and I stay as far from processed foods as possible. So when she wanted to serve banana pudding for our gold party, I insisted on making it from scratch.
I found this unique recipe for banana creme pie from Bon Appetit on Epicurious and have made it three times in a month for several different occasions. It’s been a unanimous hit!
My three experiences allowed me to play with the recipe. Below the original is intact with my notes. I’ve made this as a pie, pudding in a bowl, and pudding in individual cups for a party. All three worked beautifully.
Banana Creme Filling
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise OR 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 ripe bananas
This list will make one pie or 8 servings as pudding. If you’re going to make a pie, make crust first (see recipe below). I prefer it as pudding!
Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt in heavy medium saucepan to blend. Gradually whisk in whipping cream and whole milk (I combine the two beforehand), then egg yolks. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add vanilla bean or 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Whisk over medium-high heat until custard thickens and boils, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in unsalted butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Discard vanilla bean if you used it. Transfer custard to large bowl; cool completely, whisking occasionally, about 1 hour.
**MR NOTES: Initially I thought the vanilla bean would make the pudding rich and more flavorful, but the opposite was true. From now on I will just use vanilla extract while it’s still simmering. While it’s simmering, make sure to whisk often so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom. After you remove the custard from the heat it will thicken quickly so don’t overcook it.
- 2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup mashed banana
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Spread 1 cup custard over bottom of prepared crust. Top with half of sliced bananas, then 1 cup custard, covering bananas completely. Repeat layering with remaining bananas and remaining custard. Chill banana cream pie until filling is set and crust softens slightly, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day. Cut pie into wedges and serve.
I prefer just the pudding with Nilla waffers because it reminds me of the recipe my mom’s bf used to make when I was little.
Simply make a layer of waffers, then a thick layer of bananas, then a layer of pudding. Repeat until you get to the top. I think it also might be nice to cut chunks of banana and mix it with the custard, but I haven’t tried that yet.
I have also used little plastic cocktail cups to make individual portions at a large party.
Fresh Whipped Creme (via)
After all of this work, don’t top it off with Cool Whip, PLEASE. Take one more step to make it perfect!
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar or regular sugar (I use organic cane sugar)
- Electric mixer
Place a medium glass or metal bowl along with your mixing attachments in the freezer for twenty minutes.
Whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Make sure not to over-beat, cream will then become lumpy and butter-like. Add more sugar if you want to make it sweeter.
Spread 1 cup custard over bottom of prepared crust. Top with half of sliced bananas, then 1 cup custard, covering bananas completely. Repeat layering with remaining bananas and remaining custard. Chill banana cream pie until filling is set and crust softens slightly, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day.