Banana cream pie is something that I have never had before now, but I have always thought it sounded amazing.  Don’t you?  How could you not be immediately hooked by such a title?  To be perfectly honest though, I never even knew what it consisted of.  I assumed it was some sort of banana pudding-y base with mounds of cream on top.  I am sure that some people or restaurants pass off such a creation as banana cream pie, but now I stand corrected.

You start with a classic pie crust, and layer pastry cream with sliced bananas.  This particular version from Dorie Greenspan uses a brown sugar pastry cream flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg – way to go, Dorie!  The topping does consist of a gigantic mound of whipped cream – yummmmmm.  The original recipe calls for mixing a couple tablespoons of sour cream into the topping.  I tasted it before and after, and I wasn’t crazy about the addition of the sour cream.  I don’t think it added much but did just cut the sweetness of the topping.  Personally I think the pastry cream and banana slices would pair nicely with the sweeter whipped cream, so next time I will omit the sour cream altogether.

You definitely need to be a fan of bananas to enjoy this, because banana most definitely plays a starring role.  As it should be of course, given the name of the dessert.  I expected this to be a mess once cut into but it actually sliced beautifully.  Unfortunately the light was gone by the time this was sliced, but it was also devoured so rapidly I’m not sure I could have taken a picture if I had tried.  I’m submitting this recipe to Flavor of the Month hosted by Bake at 350, since the “flavor” for July is pie.  Enjoy!


  • Yield 1 9-inch pie


For the crust:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
3 tbsp. very cold water

For the pastry cream and filling:
2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

3 ripe but firm bananas, plus extra for garnish (if desired)

For the topping:
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla extract


  • 01

    To make the crust, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar and salt.  Add in the butter and toss with a fork to combine.  Mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Mix in the water on low speed just until the dough comes together.  Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for about 30 minutes.

  • 02

    Preheat the oven to 425° F.  Transfer the chilled dough to a lightly floured work surface.  Roll out the dough into a thin round large enough to fit a 9-inch round pie plate.  Carefully transfer the dough to the pie plate, trim the edges and use your thumb and fingers to crimp the edge.  Cover with a piece of foil or parchment paper, and fill the pie plate with baking beads (dried beans or rice works too.)  Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the crust is nearly set.  Remove the foil and baking beads and bake the crust uncovered for 5 more minutes, or until it is completely baked and light golden brown.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

  • 03

    In the meantime, make the pastry cream.  Bring the milk to a boil.  Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until well blended and thick.  Whisking without stopping, drizzle in about ¼ cup of the hot milk to temper the eggs so that they don’t curdle.  Then, still whisking, add the remainder of the milk in a steady stream.  Put the pan over medium heat and, still whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a boil.  Allow to boil, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes before removing from the heat.  Whisk in the vanilla extract.  Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are fully incorporated and the custard is smooth and silky.  Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the custard and refrigerate until cold.

  • 04

    When you are ready to assemble the pie, peel the bananas and cut them diagonally into ¼-inch thick slices.  Whisk the chilled custard to loosen it, then spread about a quarter of it over the cooled pie crust (this will be a thin layer).  Top with a layer of banana slices.  Repeat, adding a thin layer of pastry cream and the remaining bananas, then smooth the rest of the pastry cream over the last layer of bananas.

  • 05

    To make the topping, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream just until it starts to thicken.  Beat in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat until the cream holds firm peaks.  Spoon the topping over the pie filling and spread to cover the edges of the custard.  Garnish with extra banana slices, if desired.  Slice and serve (this pie is best eaten the day it is made.)