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.
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
Homemade Banana Custard / Pudding
- Whole milk
- White sugar
- Egg yolks
- 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:
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Banana Cream Pie Recipe
- Prep Time
- 40 minutes
- Cook Time
- 10 minutes
- Total Time
- 50 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
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
- 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.
- the banana extract really makes the pie full of banana flavor!
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.