It’s been a long time now, but back when my daughter and I used to go to Perkins we would get the Banana Cream Pie for dessert, if they had it. I say a long time ago because we don’t have one up where we live now, and we just tend to go for fast food these days when we are in the mood for something non-homemade. But Banana Cream Pie has been longstanding on my list of “things to try”, so I finally decided to give it a try.
Now, I call this a “weeknight” version, as it comes together fairly quickly and isn’t too difficult. It’s not the “super-easy-shortcut” version, nor is it the “100% authentic-everything-from-scratch” version either. In any case, it was a huge hit with my daughter, who couldn’t stop smiling as she was eating it, and I really liked it as well and will definitely make it again! Best eaten chilled, but I did freeze mine to make it easier to cut and plate up. So if you want it to look like the slice in the photo, freeze it first, plate it up, then let it sit for 20 minutes or so to thaw out a little before digging in.
The recipe below is pretty darn close to the Banana Cream Pie I found on recipezaar, but I did add a little more detail to the instructions and altered the milk ingredient a little. It calls for a 10-inch pie shell, but we used an 8 or 9 inch pre-made graham cracker shell so there was some leftover filling. The key to this recipe is to keep a watchful eye on the hot pudding mix and make sure whisk often.
Weeknight Banana Cream Pie Recipe:
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1-12oz. can evaporated milk
- 2 1/4 cups cold milk (I used skim)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 bananas, sliced diagonally
- 9-10 inch pre-made graham cracker shell
- fresh whipped cream or cool whip topping
- Mix cornstarch, sugar, salt in a bowl, making sure to breakdown all of the cornstarch “lumps”.
- Pour the evaporated milk and milk into a medium sized sauce pan, then whisk in the cornstarch and sugar mixture.
- Turn the heat onto medium until it * just* starts to bubble. You will need to whisk it every 30 seconds or so, especially towards the end as it gets thick, to prevent scorching and build-up on the bottom of the pot.
- Once it *just* begins to bubble, remove it from the heat. With the beaten eggs is a large bowl, add in a little less then 1/4 cup of the hot mix right into the eggs while whisking vigorously. This will temper the eggs and prevent it from “lumping”. Repeat this step 3 times, or until the egg mix feels lukewarm to the touch.
- Put the hot pudding mix back onto the stove over medium heat, add in the tempered eggs and whisk well. Allow the mixture to heat back up until it *just* begins to bubble.
- Turn heat off and take pudding mix off the heat, add in vanilla and butter and whisk until the butter is completely melted.
- Fill graham cracker crust halfway with pudding mix, then layer on all of the bananas, and top off with more pudding mix. The mix should be pretty thick, allowing you to over-fill the crust without flowing over, you may even need to help spread it out a little.
- Chill for a few hours then top off with fresh whipped cream or cool whip. If using fresh whipped cream, I used about 1 cup of cream for the whole pie.