Banana Cream Pie


RECIPE #544, DAY #470


ORIGINAL RECIPE: Cobbled together from here and there to recreate my dad’s one and only dessert*

TIMING: 20 minutes plus 2 hours to set

DIFFICULTY: You can scorch a pudding pretty easy, but otherwise just about anyone can throw this together

TOOLS: A deep dish pie pan, pie server to serve, etc.

COOK TYPE: Stovetop

HEALTH: Well, it’s a pie. But it is semi-homemade and it does have fruit in it.

EXPERIENCE: When I was growing up, my dad did the dishes a lot. What he didn’t do—because he was on the way home from work—was make dinner. When he did, he made only a few things: spaghetti, the bacon for “breakfast for dinner”… that might have been it. His only dessert, as far as I can remember, was a Midwesternized version of what I now (as a transplanted Southerner) know as banana pudding. Still, it remains, in my mind, different from banana pudding, in that the Southern version is just sort of a pile scooped out with a spoon and always has either whipped cream or meringue on the top does not. The Southern version also does NOT, in its pure form, include vanilla wafers. My dad’s version always did and always will.

NOTES: Whipped cream would be a nice topping, if you insisted on one. Then again, chocolate sauce could also be drizzled over that.

I buy either 365 or Trader Joe’s vanilla wafers. You could also make your own.


  1. Line a deep dish pie pan with vanilla wafers, making sure they are flush with the walls. Fill in large empty spots with broken wafers. Crumble a few more wafers and sprinkle into the holes between. This is not an exact science.
  2. Separate 4 egg yolks and place in a small heat-proof bowl beside the stove.
  3. In a small-medium, heavy-bottomed sauce pan, whisk together 2/3 cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup cornstarch, and ½ teaspoon salt. Whisk in 3 cups milk and turn heat to medium.
  4. Whisk constantly until it comes to a simmer. Moving quickly, remove ½ cup of the hot liquid and whisk into the egg yolks. Do this one more time, then whisk the egg mixture slowly into the mixture in the pan. Whisk for an additional 1 minute, then remove from heat.
  5. Stir in 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
  6. Slice bananas ¼-1/2 inch thick and line your wafers with them. These can be a bit messier than the wafers. Without waiting, slowly pour the vanilla mixture in the pie plate. Top with another layer of wafers, arranged nicely.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap (preferably right on the pudding) and allow to set for a minimum of 2 hours. Serve with more, fresh banana slices.


Serve with more banana slices, coffee, and optional whipped cream and chocolate sauce.

LEFTOVER IDEAS: Any banana that is exposed from the previous serving, will brown quickly. Just refrigerate and keep eating.


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