Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie Recipe

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Banana Cream Pie is one of the best pie classics for a reason. It is simple, delicious, and ticks all the boxes in a tasty, homemade pie. I prefer mine to have a graham cracker crust for flavor, but you can also blind bake a pastry crust bottom and use that for the traditional version.

While you could certainly get a box mix or pick up a pie from the bakery, banana cream pie tastes so much better when made from scratch and is totally worth the extra effort.

For some more tasty banana themed desserts, why not try my Mom’s Best Banana Bread Recipe, or my Chocolate Lovers Chocolate Chip Banana Bread?

Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie Recipe

Banana Cream Pie is incredibly simple; it’s basically just a graham cracker crust, some bananas, and a tasty custard. IF you want really old fashioned, you need to blind bake a pastry crust, but I have been fully converted over to graham cracker because the taste combination cannot be beaten!

However, there are always ways to ramp up the flavor a little bit; for example, adding in a little bit of vanilla extract helps amplify the flavors. If you can get it, a little bit of banana flavoring also helps to make everything taste just that little bit more banana-like.

While you could certainly buy a regular pie crust, the crumbly sweetness of a homemade graham wafer crust tastes so better and just seems to suit the rustic nature of this pie.

Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie Ingredients

Check the recipe card at the very bottom of the page for the full ingredient list and exact amounts.

Graham Wafer Crumb Crust

  • Graham wafer crumbs
  • White sugar
  • Butter

Homemade Banana Custard / Pudding

  • Whole milk
  • White sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt
  • Egg yolks
  • Butter
  • Banana flavoring or vanilla
  • Bananas (ripe)

How to Make Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie

  • Combine the crumbs and butter and then press into the sides and bottom of a 9.5 inch pie plate. Bake the crust briefly and cool.
  • Mix together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt into a heavy saucepan
  • Using your microwave, scald your milk by heating it in a Pyrex measuring cup until scaled and steamy
  • Whisk the scalded milk into the sugar mixture over medium heat
  • Cook until it starts to thicken, about 8 minutes
  • Once it is thick, cook on low for 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Beat together the egg yolks, then begin tempering them
  • to temper, pour a very small amount of the hot mixture into the egg yolks while whisking constantly
  • Once tempered, add your eggs into the whole pot, cooking for a minute, then add in the butter and flavorings, and then cool until just warm
  • Slice your bananas and dot the slices over the bottom of the pie shell
  • Pour the cooled custard mixture over the bananas and refrigerate until set, then top with whipped cream, slice, and serve

How to Easily Scald Your Milk

A tricky part of this recipe is scalding your milk first before you use it to make the custard.

Scalding doesn’t just mean to heat your milk, but it is actually heating your milk to a defined temperature, typically 180 Fahrenheit. At this temperature, not only are bacteria and various enzymes destroyed, but many of the proteins become denatured, changing the taste and texture of the milk and making it better for turning into a custard.

You can easily achieve this by heating your milk in a saucepan until an instant-read thermometer registers 180 Fahrenheit, but getting another pan dirty is always a pain.

Instead, just microwave your milk in a glass bowl or Pyrex jug for a few minutes at medium, or until the milk starts to steam but is not boiling.

It’s important to do this before adding it to the sugar mixture because otherwise, you might end up caramelizing the sugars, making something totally different.

How to Easily Temper Your Egg Yolks

Tempering eggs is always scary because it involves the ever-present risk of accidentally making some very sweet scrambled eggs.

The easiest way to avoid accidentally destroying your eggs is to add only a very small amount of the hot mixture to your eggs at a time. This is best accomplished with the help of another person, who can slowly pour in a thin trickle of the hot mixture.

If you’re on your own, try adding it a teaspoon at a time, whisking it thoroughly, then adding continuous teaspoons until the eggs are warm enough.

The key thing is patience; it might take a while, but getting it perfect is worth it.

Looking for more tasty Desserts? Try these:

Enjoy!

Karlynn

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This Old Fashioned Banana Cream pie is made with a from scratch vanilla pudding filling and fresh bananas! There is nothing like a real banana cream pie! I prefer mine to have a graham cracker crust for flavor, but you can also blind bake a pastry crust bottom and use that for the traditional version.

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Banana Cream Pie Recipe

This Old Fashioned Banana Cream pie is made with a from scratch vanilla pudding filling and fresh bananas! There is nothing like a real banana cream pie! I prefer mine to have a graham cracker crust for flavor, but you can also blind bake a pastry crust bottom and use that for the traditional version.
4.98 from 34 votes
Prep Time
40 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Total Time
50 minutes
Course
Dessert
Cuisine
American
Servings
6
Calories
418
Author
Karlynn Johnston

Ingredients
  

Graham Wafer Crumb Crust:

  • 2 cups of graham wafer crumbs
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter

Homemade Banana Custard/Pudding

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3 egg yolks beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 teaspoon banana flavoring optional or 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 small nicely ripened bananas

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Combine the crumbs and butter, press into a 9.5-inch pie plate on the bottom and up the sides to form crust. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely.
  • Combine your sugar, cornstarch and salt into a large, heavy saucepan and set aside for the moment.
  • For this recipe you will need to scald the milk and my favorite way to do that is in the microwave. I used my 4 cup Pyrex glass measuring cup, put in my three cups and microwave it until the milk steams. Do not let it boil!
  • Place your heavy saucepan that contains the sugar mixture on the stove over medium heat then slowly whisk in the scalded milk.
  • Cook this mixture until it starts to thicken up, about 5-8 minutes depending on the heat of your element. Once it reaches the thickening stage, turn down the heat a bit and cook for a couple more minutes longer, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn or stick to the pot.
  • Beat your egg yolks together and then once your hot mixture is ready, we need to temper the eggs. This involves taking a ¼ cup of the hot mixture and combining it into the egg yolks completely. Once you have done that, you are safe to whisk the egg yolks into the whole pot of the hot mixture without fear of it clumping up.
  • Cook the egg yolks for a minute, then add in the butter. Whisk until it’s melted into the mixture. Stir in your banana flavoring or vanilla and then remove from the heat.
  • When the mixture is cooled down to being just warm, slice 2-3 bananas and place into the bottom of the pie shell you made and refrigerated earlier on. When you have all the bananas you want, pour the filling evenly over the bananas and smooth out the top.
  • Refrigerate a few hours so it sets then top with as much whipped cream as you want. Slice and serve.

Recipe Notes

  • the banana extract really makes the pie full of banana flavor!
 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 418kcal, Carbohydrates: 55g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 147mg, Sodium: 278mg, Potassium: 317mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 44g, Vitamin A: 784IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 156mg, Iron: 1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Denise says

    I tried this recipe but my custard did not thicken completely. Any ideas of what I did incorrectly?? Tasted great even tho we had to eat it with a spoon!4 stars

  2. Brock says

    The reason you want to add banana flavor is that the recipe was written when we had different bananas. The modern banana doesn’t taste like what was the standard banana years ago. The breed of banana back then was called a Gros Michel and it tasted more like what artificial banana flavoring does. This variety died out due to fungus and now we use the fungus resistant Cavendish breed which is starchier and has a lighter taste. There is literally no way to make this recipe taste right without using the flavoring.5 stars

  3. Cheryl says

    This was great, tasted like what Gramma made.I used the vanilla but will definitely try banana next time.5 stars

  4. Rose says

    Thank you for the great pie recipe. It does take a while to make but it is so much better than storebought.5 stars

  5. Mariangela Bettio says

    Alison Newell should we make this and eat it together???

    • Alison Newell says

      It’s very delicious and can definitely be eaten in one sitting 5 stars

  6. Ka Lou Baker says

    Similar to what my mom always made except she never used a graham crust, always pastry which is still my preference. 🙂

    5 stars

  7. Monaliz says

    This is my go to recipe the past few years for Thanksgiving. I don’t have the problems everyone else is having and this will be my 3rd year in a row making it, it’s always a hit! I too am a purist and use banana extract! Thank you for a great recipe!

    5 stars

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      Monaliz That’s awesome!! Glad to hear it’s a hit!

  8. Josh says

    This was SO good! Made it for the wife and I on Friday and it was gone by Saturday night. Whoops.5 stars

    • Georgia says

      @Josh Maybe it’s got to do with the order of using the ingredients according to the recipe, if I got it right. The way I make the custard cream is: pour the 2 1/5 cups of whole fat fresh milk in a pot on medium heat till right before it starts to boil. At the same time mix with a whisk in a bowl the 1/5 cup of milk with the sugar, the egg yolks and the corn starch, the best you can. Once the milk is heated, take some, about a ladle and pour it in the bowl of egg yolks and whisk. Then some more. Afterwards you can pour that mixture back in the pot and stir with the whisk constantly until you see the first bubbles of boiling- while stirring you will see it will get thickened. Remove from the heat. Add the butter, if you add it on the heat it doesn’t help the thickening and it loses its flavor. The same with the vanilla, add it at the end and stir, if it gets burnt it gets bitter. 

      5 stars

  9. Kate says

    FIVE FIVE FIVE stars with the banana flavor! Thank you, this my is my go to for Easter now!5 stars

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      @Kate Cream pies  - unless they are fake ones from the store- never refrigerate well for more than a day. If you left it overnight, it definitely would start to weep and separate.

  10. alison says

    Although amazingly delicious, my pie never firmed up. When I cut it it spills out…what did I do wrong or what can I add to firm the custard?

  11. Jenni196 says

    Magpie, another Pie Day hit for us! I used the banana flavor and it was TOPS! 5 stars

  12. sharon says

    Same question as star86assilem; when does the butter go in?

    • J.R. says

      According to the directions, the butter goes in at step #7.
      “Cook the eggs yolks for a minute & then add in the butter.”

  13. star86assilem says

    this recipie calls for 2 tblspoons of butter during filling instructions when is that added because its not listed

    • J.R. says

      The directions indicate the butter is added at step #7.

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