Banana Cream Pie

James Peterson

Cookbook Author

"Custard pies or cream pies are based on American-style pudding, which is almost identical to pastry cream in that it is a custard stabilized with cornstarch. It differs from pastry cream, however, in that it contains less starch. This recipe differs from the classic banana cream pie in that it uses brown butter to give it a nutty butterscotch flavor."

–James Peterson


  • 1 recipe Basic Pie and Tart Pastry Dough
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons melted butter, lightly browned and strained
  • 3 ripe bananas


Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Use a 9- to 10-inch pie pan. Roll the dough into a round about 2 inches larger than the pie pan. Line the pie pan with the dough, fold under the edge to make it a double thickness, and make a fluted edge. Place a square of parchment paper or aluminum foil over the dough, making sure it is large enough that it’s easy to pick up by the ends when you remove it. Cover the parchment paper with about a pound of dried beans to keep it from puffing up in the oven. Bake the shell for about 15 minutes, until the edge of the tart turns pale brown. Remove the paper or foil and beans and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the bottom of the shell is golden brown.

In a saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer with the vanilla bean or extract. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until smooth. Pour half of the milk into the egg mixture, stir to combine thoroughly, and pour the mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk. Stir the mixture over medium-high heat with a whisk for about 5 minutes, or until it bubbles and thickens. Remove the vanilla bean, if using. Transfer the custard mixture to a bowl, whisk in the brown butter, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to cool to room temperature.

Cover the bottom of the pie shell with one-third of the pudding. Slice 2 of the bananas between 1/8- and 1/4-inch thick and place one half of them over the pudding in a single layer. Spread half of the remaining pudding over the banana slices. Place the remaining sliced bananas on top of the pudding, then cover the bananas with the remaining pudding.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving, but serve at room temperature. Shortly before serving, slice the remaining banana and arrange on top of the pie.


One 9- to 10-inch pie