Banana Pudding Pie
As if I didn’t get enough key lime and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, I made another pie for dessert this past weekend. I was in the mood for one of my old stand-bys — banana cream pie. I probably make banana cream pie once a month because everybody in my house is crazy about it. For years I’ve been making a banana cream pie recipe from the cookbook “The Food You Crave”, by Ellie Kreiger. Her version is healthier — it’s not the loaded down banana cream pie from Nation’s. We’ve all had that at least once, haven’t we? Ellie’s version appealed to me because the recipe calls for a graham cracker crust. That crust happens to be my specialty — not only because it tastes great, but because I have an aversion to rolling out dough most of the time. It’s not that I haven’t done it before, I just don’t want to fuss with it most of the time. I finally got the wherewithal to make my own version of banana cream pie. I saw a box of Nilla wafers on sale last week and thought, why not use the Nilla wafers to make a cross between banana cream pie and banana pudding? Hence, the banana pudding pie was born. My family loved it, so there’s no going back. This is my new stand-by.
The crust in my banana pudding pie is no longer graham cracker crust — it’s ground up Nilla wafers and butter, baked till golden brown. It tastes even better than it looks!
Once it’s cooled, I placed sliced bananas all over the bottom of the crust, then poured the homemade vanilla pudding over the bananas.
The pudding only takes 10 minutes to make and it’s creamy and delicious. If you would rather save time and use instant vanilla or banana pudding, go for it. From here, the pie needs to be chilled at least 3 hours in order to set.
I top my pie with fresh whipped cream, with a little bit of powdered sugar to sweeten it up. Yes, I whip my own cream, and I highly recommend it! I am a complete whipped cream snob, and have been ever since I ate fresh whipped cream atop a pumpkin pie years ago. For me, there is no better way to top off a pie than with fresh whipped cream. If you haven’t tried it, give it a shot and let me know what you think! Garnish the pie with fresh banana slices and/or Nilla wafer cookies. The crowd will go wild.
- ½ bag of Nilla Wafer cookies
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 3 tablespoons boiling water
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 2 cups non-fat milk (low-fat is fine)
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 medium ripe bananas, sliced into rounds
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- Sliced bananas or halved Nilla Wafer cookies for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9" pie plate with cooking spray. Using a food processor or blender, pulse the Nilla Wafer cookies until coarsely ground. Be careful not to over process as you don't want cookie dust! Place the ground cookies into a small bowl. Add the melted butter and stir until the butter is well incorporated.
- Pour the crust into the prepared pie plate. Press evenly along the bottom and about 2 - 2½" up the side. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Place on a wire rack to cool.
- Place the gelatin a small bowl. Add the boiling water to the gelatin, and stir until it's dissolved. Set aside.
- Place the sugar and flour in a medium saucepan and whisk until combined. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks and milk until well combined. Add the milk mixture to the sugar mixture in the sauce pan and whisk well. Cook the milk mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it comes to a boil and thickens, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the gelatin slurry and vanilla extract. Cool slightly.
- Slice the bananas into ¼ inch round slices and arrange along the bottom of the pie crust. You can do one layer or two...the more banana the better. Pour the vanilla pudding evenly over the bananas. Place the pie in the refrigerator and chill for a minimum of 3 hours.
- When you're ready to serve the pie, pour the whipping cream into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, begin whipping the cream on medium high speed. Immediately add the powdered sugar, and continue whipping the cream until soft peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. Do not over whip! Top each slice of pie with whipped cream and garnish with sliced bananas or halved Nilla Wafer cookies.
- Adapted from Ellie Krieger's Banana Cream Pie