95 thoughts on “P&Q: Banana Cream Pie

  1. I’ve made this pie at least five times and it’s always a hit. The sour cream in the topping is delicious and the whole pie is wonderful. Awesome choice!

  2. So, I made this pie back in December and ended up making the filling twice… the first time I made it, I thought the filling was kind of gloopy and sticky (I think I cooked the filling too long). So I threw it away and made it again and it turned out better… although still a little sticky. Maybe I still cooked it a little long? It was the first banana cream pie I’d ever had, so I just assumed the filling would be more pudding-like.

    Regardless, the pie turned out delicious. I’m going to make a mini one this week because I didn’t get good pics from the one I made in december!

    Yum! Great pick!

  3. I made this one last night and it is good, better than i remember the typical jello pudding cool whip version!
    This one has a custard that reminds me alot of pumpkin pie and a sweet whipped cream to counter the pale banannas. very good pie and not too hard to make either!
    I just cooked my custard until it started getting thick and like pudding consistency, then about 1 minute longer and took off the heat.

  4. Confession time, I’ve never made pie crust. A part of me is intimidated and another part just doesn’t really like the taste. So, I wonder, would the graham cracker crust from the Florida pie work? If so, reading that recipe it says to use the graham cracker crust from an earlier recipe, but to bake it fully, problem is the earlier recipe only has directions to partially bake it.

    Have I totally confused you yet?

    So I guess my questions are:
    1. Do you think a graham cracker crust would taste good with the banana cream filling? (Another confession, not likeing pie crust, I’ve never had banana cream pie!)
    2. If yes, how long do you think I’d need to bake a 9″ graham cracker crust for it to be fully baked?

  5. I think graham cracker crust would taste fine, but I personally never had it.

    I made this pie last weekend. My filling wasn’t really “smooth” but it spread no problem. Maybe I was expecting more smooth and pudding-like, but it’s like an eggy custard (go figure, 6 egg yolks! haha). It did remind me of pumpkin pie with the spices. Then again, it was my first time with fresh nutmeg. The whipped cream is a good topping, but next time, I would go with the traditional meringue so I can use up some of the egg whites.

    If any of you bakers plan ahead, you could probably make angel food cake within a few days because you would have 6 egg whites left over.

  6. I’ve heard you can freeze the egg whites, too. My grandma always made her banana cream pie with meringue on top. My mom thinks it helps cut the richness a little (I don’t mind, lol).

    The pudding recipe is almost the same as the pastry cream but it’s made with brown sugar. I always add a little extra milk since I like it a bit thinner than it seems to come out for me.

    I think it would taste great on graham crust, too- but what wouldn’t taste good with pastry cream, right?

  7. Hmm… I’ve never made angel food cake. Macs are my go-to egg white dumping ground. LOVE them. Always loved the method of cooling an angel food cake upside down though – messes with my engineer-y sense of gravity :)

  8. Jennifer- I was thinking about a graham cracker crust too- sounds like a good flavor combo to me! I usually prebake at 350 for about 10minutes- you can usually see a slight color changes and it feels firm to the touch.

  9. Jennifer, I think this would be great on a graham cracker crust (and if I’m short on time, I may steal your idea!) Before the world went salmonella crazy, I made a zillion unbaked key lime pies in unbaked graham cracker crusts. It wasn’t until I saw a “recipe” for Joe’s Stone Crab’s key lime pie (the original Joe’s key lime pie died with their baker, who never shared the recipe) that I realized that some folks prebake their graham cracker crusts (or add sugar to them, who knew!)

  10. I recommend trying the pie crust with this recipe. Dorie’s recipe is so easy, you can throw the whole thing together in the food processor in minutes. It really isn’t difficult. I just stuck my butter and shortening in the freezer a few hours ahead of time. The main thing is not to overmix it.
    I think it would taste good with graham cracker crust, but I think then a meringue topping would be better than the whipped cream. The pie crust cuts a little of the sweetness from the pastry cream.
    I was debating about doing a graham cracker crust, but the pie crust won out and it was really good.
    I have to disagree and say that the pastry cream is not eggy at all. It was smooth and silky. I didn’t think it tasted like eggs at all, but that is just me.

  11. I made it last week. Very delicious and you can make each part ahead of time. I didn’t bother straining the brown sugar and it worked out fine.

    I’ve never had banana cream pie before. Now I think I’ll have to add it to pies I love.

  12. I’ve never heard of banana cream pie with meringue – I’ve always had it with whipped cream.

    I’ve made banana cream pie with graham cracker crust, and I really like it. I would bake the graham cracker crust at about 375F until you can smell it. It should also be a little darker than it was unbaked.

  13. When I made it before, I made it with a graham cracker crust and it was delicious!!! And I think I’ll do it again this time.

    More milk… I like that idea, I’m going to thin out the cream with a little extra milk. Thanks Anne!

  14. I love this pie! My pastry cream was a little thick, though. It thickened long before it began to boil, but there I stood following directions, timing the boil…. No worries. The cream was delicious nonetheless. The addition of nutmeg and cinnamon is nothing short of genius. I plan to make it again, this time with the graham cracker crumb crust everyone is talking about. Wonderful selection!!

  15. I just made this today, DELICIOUS! Definitely different that traditional banana cream pie, the nutmeg and cinnamon make it taste “Christmasy” :)

    here’s an angel food cake link http://www.anniesrecipes.com/Recipe/21612/Angel-Food-Cake.htm The picture you see there was uploaded by me, I made it and it was wonderful!

    As for the custard, I cooked it till it got thick (which happens all of a sudden) and stirred constantly, then cooked for another minute or so.

    Oh, and I used a freezer pie crust. So sue me LOL! Pie crust for me is one of those “yeah I’ve made it before, I know I can, that’s enough for me”. Too much work :-P

  16. I made the pastry cream and crust yesterday and will assemble the pie tonight – so excited! Confession: this is my first banana cream pie- I’ve never even tasted one before! That’s why I chose it, so I could try something new I’ve always wanted to try- plus the cinnamon and nutmeg got my interests up! The filling is delicious…I could’ve eaten it with a spoon (I might have had a few too many licks off the whisk…) ;-) Can’t wait to see everybody’s pies!! YIPPEE!

  17. I have a blog post set to post about this on Tuesday, with these same comments .. but my thoughts:

    My pastry cream never got to a boil. It went from liquid to massively thick in the blink of an eye. I took it off the heat and whisked for all I was worth to keep it creamy. Even so, after chilling I had to mix in about 1/2 cup of milk to get it back to a more spreadable “cream” consistency.

    I also used my pie crust recipe (the vodka pie crust) just because I happened to have some in the freezer already from the last pie I made. Didn’t want to waste it and didn’t want to risk a new crust recipe. :) But I was also thinking about trying a graham cracker crust at some point.

    Finally, I loved the nutmeggy, spicy flavor. I’m not a big banana fan to begin with so I liked the change. My housemate thought it was ok but wanted to taste more banana. I thought it mellowed out a bit more the 2nd day and more of the banana flavor came through.

    Either way, I liked it and will definitely make it again … or variations if I feel like playing.

  18. All great suggestions! I already made some pie crust a month or so ago and froze it (now I’m thanking myself). Jennifer – I made my first traditional crust last year, and it wasn’t that bad. Nothing to fear. Graham crust would be good too!

    I froze a batch of egg whites and then used them later to make some swiss meringue buttercream. They freeze great for future use!

    Mike – (who will be attempting his first banana cream pie too)!

  19. I just made mine, including the crust. Other than Dorie’s galette crust, I haven’t made one from scratch in years. This one’s very easy and it’s taste will make you feel like a pro. Mine stuck to the board so I cut it down the middle and put it back together in the pie pan. No problems!

  20. I made my pie last weekend, before the P&Q, so when my cream got massively thick I just used thick cream! Never crossed my mind to thin it, but this is only the second time I’ve made pastry cream. Mine thickened well before boiling, but it may be how I measured the cornstarch for a half recipe (tried to do it by weight because I was too lazy to halve it by volume) and I might have had too much. Well, now I know how to fix that problem when it comes around again.

    I already had a bit of Dorie’s pie crust in my freezer, which was the perfect amount for a half recipe. My problem with her crust is that it doesn’t keep a fluted edge when it bakes. I grew up making a shortening crust, and that’s what I know. Well that and Pillsbury from the refrigerator case, lol.

    Mine was not a very pretty pie, with the squashed crust edges and the thick brown filling, but my in-laws loved it. I only got a teaspoon of the filling + piece of banana + whipped cream and it was as good or better than any banana cream pie I’ve eaten – not sugary but rich and creamy.

  21. Oh, and some of my egg yolks were from the freezer. I’ve never frozen them before and when they thawed out they were really thick, and I had a devil of a time whisking them. So I’d probably not put them in pastry cream again.

  22. Margot, I had a leftover small foil pie pan on my shelf that I’d saved because of the size; it was about 6-7 inches and shallow and perfect for a half recipe. I have no idea where I got it and will be looking for a replacement because it is a cool and potentially useful size. I also considered making individual tarts with a half recipe’s worth of ingredients.

  23. I loved this pie. My husband thought it needed to be sweeter but he is a cherry pie fan. I thought it was perfect! The recipe was easy to follow and I was so happy with the results.

  24. Mmmm – macaroons. Thanks for the idea Margot. Something else I’ve never made before. Perfect use for the leftover egg whites! I’m sure everyone has *some* leftover coconut!

  25. I’m thinking of making home-made Amaretti from the leftover egg whites. I have this can of almond paste sitting around…

    I’ve read that egg yolks get really thick when frozen. You have to add sugar to them before freezing (don’t remember the exact amount) and then whisk a lot after thawing.

  26. Egg whites freeze and thaw beautifully, but I found it helpful to come up with a system, now I never waste an egg white.

    Egg yolks can be frozen too, but as Nancy experienced they thaw thick and glopy unless you whisk in a bit of sugar, salt, or acid.

    I am looking forward to making this pie. I don’t think I have ever made a banana cream pie.

  27. I made this last summer but screwed up the crust, so am anxious to make it again. I decided though that I am going to make a chocolate layer on the bottom.

  28. I made this and served it yesterday. It was a huge hit! I know a lot of banana cream pie lovers. The custard was amazing. I didn’t have sour cream on hand, so I used yogurt for the topping and it worked fine. If you’re on the fence about making this one, just go ahead and make it! You won’t be sorry :)

  29. I love banana cream pie, so it was great to have the opportunity to make this. A graham cracker crust will certainly work. For mine, I made a Nilla wafer crust. I know! Heresy. But it was SO good.

    Also, my pastry cream looked utterly ruined after just a couple of minutes on the stovetop. Curdled, scrambled, a big mess. I took it off the heat, whisked, and somehow it all came back together into a smooth, silky custard. I’ve never had that kind of luck before. Magic pastry cream!

  30. Thanks for all the advice re: graham cracker crust.

    I’m really debating it now, whether I should do pie crust or graham cracker and am seriously thinking of doing both. I could take the two pies to my book club and see which one people like better… I guess it’ll depend on how energetic I’m feeling this weekend.

    Amy, I’m glad you wrote about your possibly curdled pastry cream! I think that’s what’s so great about the P & Q. It might save someone (maybe me!) from pitching out something they didn’t need to…

  31. I knew you could freeze egg whites but never did. Mainly because I live at school, so when I bake at my parents’ house, I’m never around long enough to use up the egg whites. I wonder how long they can be frozen?

    Jennifer – If you have mini tart pans, maybe you could do both crusts with one recipe? Unless you want to make two pies.

  32. Hmmm…I can’t eat or go near bananas – Can anyone think of an alternative (a bit request I know for Banana Creme Pie!) – I was thinking maybe Passion fruit? Thanks x

  33. Carla – I believe whites can be frozen for a few months at least. I love it when you start a recipe and it calls for whites only, and you have some in the freezer (rather than using half of the egg)!

    Now I’m wishing I would have not un-froze my pie dough and used Nilla wafers instead…. that sounds fantastic. What would be the recipe for a vanilla wafer crust? Sugar/butter, etc? Thanks!

  34. Here’s the vanilla wafer crust I used:

    35-40 Nilla wafers, finely crushed (about 1-1/4 cups)
    1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
    2 Tbsp. sugar

    Mix all ingredients until well blended. Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate. Bake in 375 degree oven for 6-8 minutes.


  35. Great idea to make Angel Food with the left over whites…I usually make Italian Meringue buttercream with my left over whites but I dont have any use for a whole pie AND cake.

    I thought egg whites didn’t whip up after being frozen? Any one had any issues with this? I know you can’t store egg whites in plastic containers because the proteins adhere to the plastic preventing them from whipping. Been there before…

    Graham cracker crust really sounds good. I’ve never had banana cream pie so I guess I may just start with tradition? Just not a huge fan of making pie crust…not sure why…its not even that hard.

  36. Hmmm…I wonder if I could use passover cookies as the crust. Although, that would probably taste really gross and ruin this yummy sounding pie. I think I’ll have to use this recipe as a rewind next time it’s offered!

  37. Amy- My pastry cream curdled right away too…literally before boiling mid stir …curdle…and from there it was already too late. :( I dont think I can bear to use an entire pack of eggs so I decided to push this through a seive and just go with it. It tastes fine? But not sure if thats because the cinnamon really puts the flavor mask over curdled eggs?

    Anyone have a secret? I seriously curdle pastry cream everytime I have tried….

  38. Courtney and Amy – mine LOOKED like it was starting to curdle, but I just whipped it off the heat and beat it to death with the whisk. :) It seemed to be just fine after that. It did get really really thick and had to be thinned with milk, but it wasn’t lumpy or anything. It actually had great flavor.

  39. Courtney my custard used to curdle all the time too.. Then I bought a new whisk, one that was actually good..haha and then the curdling stopped. Also, I was a little more careful with the temperature. I think it’s good when there are little bubbles on the sides of the pot, but not boiling.

  40. Beth, why not just omit the crust and make a parfait instead? Or make little baked meringue shells like for a Pavlova? (With those extra egg whites…) You can use potato starch in the pastry cream instead of cornstarch.

    My pastry cream thickened up REALLY REALLY fast but it didn’t curdle. I was whisking like crazy and pulled it off the heat and whisked some more.

  41. This pie is delicious. Any banana cream pie I had in the past had a really sweet custard but this was just smooth and creamy….not sweet. My new favorite.

    My pastry cream also thickened very quickly and looked curdled but I just kept whisking like a mad woman and it smoothed out.

    Another hit in my house. The husband had two pieces after dinner!

  42. Help needed. My first batch of pastry cream was “runny” – not thick after refrigerating overnight. I assumed I didn’t boil it long enough?? This morning I mad another batch and cooked it much longer. Added the butter and whisked – but it’s literally “rubber-ish”? Is that the correct texture. It seems overly thick – not creamy. This is so frustrating, I’ve never made pastry cream before! Thanks in advance!

  43. Hello All!

    I’m a St. Patrick’s Day member and very excited to be part of this group!
    Has anyone used the rolling slipcover that Dorie mentions in her book? I’ve been looking for one and can’t find one around here. I don’t bake pies that often, mostly because I have problems with my crusts…

  44. Mike, I don’t know if I would call mine rubbery, but it was really thick and sorta gloopy. It was smooth though, as in no lumps. If it spreads easily over the bananas, then I guess yes? However, I’m not sure if I overcooked mine. When I heard pastry cream, I was thinking more of eclair filling. Definitely not what I got.

  45. Thanks April! Hm…. mine was REALLY hard to whisk after being chilled. I just added some heavy cream and it’s whisking more smooth. It will have to do. I am NOT making yet another batch. :)

    It sure tastes good though, doesn’t it? Love the brown sugar/cinnamon flavor in it!

  46. I’m surprised that I’m actually going to say this…because I think I’m also the only one to say it. I didn’t like this pie. I love banana cream pie, but this didn’t do it for me. So I’m left to wonder if it’s just a botched job on my part or what. I’m waiting for my husband to give me his opinion.

    The custard/pudding was way too thick and jiggly. I didn’t even cook it as long as it said because it thickened up so quickly.

    I also didn’t like the addition of the cinnamon and nutmeg. (Usually I make a black bottom banana cream pie–I’m missing the chocolate ganache layer.)

    I do like the whipped cream topping though. I make that to go on apple pie and other things. I think it compliments the banana.

    Probably just me…sigh.

  47. Beth, I second Barbara’s idea to use the leftover whites to make a meringue base. Or mini bases. It would be perfect for Passover! I’m using my whites to make meringue cookies and sugar/cinnamon nuts. Both will hopefully last until I can use flour again1

  48. My custard started to curdle too, right before the boiling point. I just removed it from the heat and continued on, and it came out nice. I did the ice cooling down thing, and it still wasn’t set enough, as when I went to cut a piece, it all slid out (then I had a total flop -I’ll show a picture on my blog). So I’m letting it set overnight in the fridge for hopefully it’s photo op tomorrow.

    Also, I am not a fan of the cinnamon & nutmeg. The brown color either. I would leave those out, if you don’t want it to taste like a pumpkin pie, lol.

    I must have had a shallow pie dish, mine was a heap of a cream pie! When it’s sliced, all you see is the cream.

    I do LOVE the crust though, I can’t say it enough. It’s my go-to crust recipe.

  49. Lindsey – This is definitely not the sweet vanilla flavored banana cream pie everyone is used to :) the first bite I took I wasn’t too sure. I liked this pie, I thought it was quite good, but I still prefer traditional banana cream pie. How did your husband like it?

  50. Lindsey, I agree with Amanda. This isn’t your typical banana cream pie, which has more of that pudding taste plus meringue instead of whipped cream. My family loved it – the pie was gone in two days! I don’t like pie crust, but I did like the filling.

  51. I ended up doing a trifle and used nilla wafers. I really didn’t want to miss this week’s TWD. This is one of my two favorite internet events! I had to do some switching up because I am still healing from surgery….and because Grumpy’s been told by the Dr to go on a diet. Sigh. In any case, this is our dessert tonight. I am excited to try it!

  52. Dorie – Please marry me? I LOVE THIS PIE. Really, I don’t like pie and have never had a desire for banana cream pie…my hubby loves so I made it. I tried it cause I made it. Now, I want to marry Dorie because of this pie. SOOO good.

  53. I’m completely fed up with this crust. I complained about the crust the last time we made pie because it shrank A LOT! I tried it again and just took it out of the oven and it looks horrible. Right now I don’t even feel like moving forward with the pie it because the crust is such a wreck.

  54. I really enjoyed this. I am so use to custard cream pie with graham cracker crust and the different flavors in this pie were delicious. I ended up making cupcake size pie bites.

    I started to worry when the pastry cream thickened because it looked chunky. I kept whisking for another minute and smoothed the cream out (whew!).

    I will be making this again!

  55. So sorry about your pie crust disaster, Kimberly!

    You could forget about a pie and make parfaits instead. Crumble up that uncooperative crust and make layers of crumbs, pastry cream, bananas and whipped cream in serving glasses. Or do the same in a bigger bowl and call it a trifle.

  56. I used a refrigerated crust… Pie crusts scare me. I’ll get over it one day, but today was not that day.

    My pastry cream was… weird. I felt like all I could taste was cornstarch. Kinda disappointing.

  57. I also had trouble with the custard – it was very thick. After refrigeration, it was not really even spreadable. I didn’t think to add some milk to thin it out.

    So I guess I gotta say…this was kind of meh for me. The flavor was kind of boring and I didn’t care for the custard at all.

  58. Steph, I will buy a new whisk…are you talking about the ones with the ball in the center? Ill try it! Cant hurt…plus new kitchen supplies make me happy.

    my custard was really hard when I pulled it out of the fridge but just added the milk and it loosened up immediately. Thanks for the tip–we will see how this thing pans out tomorrow. Im making this thing in stages….over 5 days. Its the pie that just wont go away. lol

  59. I made the custard this morning and had to pull it off the stove in less than a minute-it was SO thick. I’ve baked the pie crust and will make the meringue for it tonight. Thanks for the tip on adding milk if the custard is too firm!

  60. I’m going to sit out this week’s pick due to a lack of pie pans in my house (want 3 different sizes of cake? I can do that! Want a pie of any size — um, sorry.). All of your comments are making me hungry and I look forward to seeing your results. I need to acquaint myself with any members near my neighborhood so I can serve as a “taste tester” on weeks I don’t participate!

    Happy Baking!

  61. I just got my custard done and my pie crust is in the fridge waiting to be baked. I halved the recipe and am making mini pies since I wasn’t sure how well a banana cream pie would go over at our house. I was nervous about the custard (especially the eggs!) but it looks good and yes, I had a taste and liked it, so far so good :)

  62. Umm.. I’m not sure what makes a whisk a good one..haha. Maybe if has lots of wires (not sure what they’re called) b/c my old one had a lot less. Even when I’m whisking an egg with my new one, it makes such a big difference. I bought it when I went to Germany. The supplies there are amazing and the stainless steel is actually stainless steel..haha

  63. Cooks Illustrated says that lots of tines of various sizes is what makes a whisk a good one, and this one qualifies. You can see that the loops of the tines don’t all come together and touch at the bottom – but there are various lengths. So lots of whisking space. I have this whisk in 4 different sizes and love it: http://tinyurl.com/d97ayy (Oxo Whisk on Amazon).

  64. Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who commented on my blog for the warm welcome to TWD. I’m having so much fun and already planning my next two recipes. :)

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