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Banana Cream Pie must be a staple in American pie making. Ask anybody what’s in it and I bet they can tell you. Vanilla cream, bananas, and meringue on top. We love bananas at our house so it was only a matter of time before we slipped this one in the line-up. Meringue is not always my favorite topping (I prefer sweetened whipped cream) but it really adds something to this pie. My husband said it tastes like banana pudding and I agree. Bananas are naturally sweet, delicious and good for you. Not that bananas make this pie ‘super healthy’ but it doesn’t hurt!
I changed it up a bit by making a cookie crust instead of the standard Crisco pie crust. I would imagine Vanilla Wafers could be substituted for the Chessmen Cookies, but I think this turned out pretty great. You will need one package of cookies, 6 tablespoons butter and 1/4 cup sugar.
Let’s pause for a moment and talk about the food processor. Next to a blender and toaster, this is the most used appliance in our kitchen. I love this machine. If you don’t have one, you should get one. It always amazes me how easily it completes the task.
Please pardon this commercial interruption, I was inspired. Crush or pulse one package of Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies.
Pulse until all cookies are crumbled.
Add 6 tablespoons melted butter and 1/4 cup sugar to the cookie mixture.
Lightly spray a pie plate with Pam. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
For the filling you will need eggs, vanilla, butter, flour, corn starch, salt, sugar, milk (not pictured) and bananas.
Separate the eggs reserving the whites for the meringue topping. Lightly beat 3 egg yolks in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan combine the sugar, salt, cornstarch and 1 tablespoon flour. Stir in 3 cups whole milk.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils. Boil 1 minute and remove from heat.
Blend half the milk mixture into the beaten eggs yolks.
Stir the egg mixture back into the saucepan mixing well.
Blend until the egg mixture and the milk mixture are incorporated. Return to the stove and bring to a boil. Boil 1 more minute stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and blend in vanilla and butter. If you were making a plain vanilla cream pie you would pour the mixture into the pie plate and top as desired. Since we’re using bananas we’ll let the mixture cool a bit before adding bananas.
Once cooled down (not steaming) spread a small amount of custard in the bottom of the baked crust.
Slice bananas and put in a single layer on top of the custard.
Top with about half of the custard and add one more layer of bananas.
Top with the remaining custard and set aside.
For the meringue beat the leftover egg whites with cream of tartar.
Beat until foamy. Next slowly add sugar beating well after each addition.
Beat until meringue is stiff and glossy.
Spread on top of the custard being careful to seal the meringue onto the edge of the crust. This helps prevent the meringue from shrinking and weeping. I have heard that meringue should be made on a sunny day that’s not very humid. Today was not one of those days. So the meringue settled a little and didn’t keep as much of the fluff.
Swirl the meringue for decorative top.
Place the pie in a preheated 400 degree oven until meringue is browned, about 8-10 minutes. I have also browned the meringue under the broiler and used a kitchen torch.
Allow the pie to cool gradually in a slightly warm location, away from drafts. Chilling the pie before it cools will also cause the meringue to fall. Once properly cooled, refrigerate several hours before serving.
Banana Cream Pie
(adapted from Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook – Vanilla Cream Recipe)
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups Chessmen Cookies, Crushed
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
Mix together and press into a 9-inch pie plate that has been lightly sprayed with Pam.
Bake at 375 degrees for 7 minutes. Cool
For the filling:
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon flour
3 cups milk
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 medium bananas, sliced
Mix sugar, salt, cornstarch and flour in a medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils. Boil 1 minute and remove from heat. Slowly stir half the cooked mixture into the beaten eggs yolks. Whisk the egg mixture back into the custard in the saucepan. Return to the stove and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil 1 more minute and remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla and blend well. Set mixture aside to cool until no longer steaming.
Spread a small amount of custard in the bottom of the baked pie crust. Add a single layer of sliced bananas. Add 1/2 the remaining custard spreading over all bananas. Top with another layer of bananas, then top with the remaining custard. Set pie aside while preparing the meringue.
For the meringue:
3 Egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar
Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually beat in sugar, a little at a time. Beat until whites are stiff and glossy. Pile meringue onto pie filling, sealing the meringue to the edge of the crust. Bake until delicately browned at 400 degrees for about 8 to 10 minutes.
Allow the pie to cool away from drafts. Chill for several hours and serve. When cutting meringue, run the knife under hot water and dry before slicing. This helps prevent ripping or tearing the meringue.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great week.