Banana Cream Pie with Dulce de Leche

Marcus Daniel

Joseph Decuis, Roanoke, IN

This ain't your average banana cream pie. With a hidden layer of rum-infused dulce de leche and a tart shell inspired by Nilla Wafers, this decadent dessert will make mouths drop.


Dulce de Leche:

  • One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup Malibu Rum

Tart Shell:

  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Pastry Cream:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split down the middle and seeds scraped
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Meringue and Banana Topping:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 bananas, peeled and cut on the bias into 1/4-inch thick slices


Make the dulce de leche: place the can of condensed milk in a small pot and cover up to 2 inches above the can with water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 2 hours. Remove the can from the water and allow to cool before opening. Place the caramelized milk into a bowl and mix with the rum until evenly distributed. (Note: this can be done ahead and will keep in the refrigerator stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month.)

Make the tart shell: lightly grease a 9-inch pie pan or tart pan and preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, milk, and vanilla. Sift together the flour and salt. Once the butter and sugar are creamed, alternately add the wet ingredients and dry ingredients a little at a time until everything is well incorporated. Press the dough into the prepared tart pan so that it’s about 1/4-inch high. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Cover with a sheet of parchment paper and top with pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the weights and parchment and bake for an additional 10 minutes until golden brown. Let cool completely.

Make the pastry cream: combine the cream, milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla in a medium pot set over medium-high heat. While that is heating, whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch together in a small bowl. The milk mixture should be warmed with steam rising from the surface. Pour half of the warmed milk into the yolk mixture and stir to combine. Pour this yolk–milk mixture back into the pot and return to low heat. Cook the custard, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Make sure to scrape the bottom and corners of the pot to avoid curdling the mixture. Cook gently until the mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat immediately and whisk in the butter until melted and incorporated.  Cool immediately in an ice water bath. (Note: this can be made a day ahead and will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days.)

Make the meringue: place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip on medium speed until foamy. Add in the sugar and continue to whisk on high until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes.

To assemble: fill about 4 tablespoons of the dulce de leche into the bottom of the cooled tart shell, covering the bottom completely. Next, spoon 2 full cups of the cooled pastry cream over top of the dulce de leche, spreading from the middle to the edges of the tart shell. Shingle the banana slices on half of the tart, while on the other half, pipe the meringue in small dollops. Brown the meringue by using a blow torch or under the heated broiler of your oven.


one 9-inch pie (about 8 servings)