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Banana Pudding Pie

Alexandra Grablewski

Yield: Makes one 9-inch pie.

This pie is a retro favorite: homemade vanilla pudding, layered with ripe sliced bananas in a vanilla-wafer crust, and topped with a fluffy meringue.

This classic pie is excerpted from the cookbook Sweetie Pies.


For the crust

  • 1-1/2 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the filling

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 firm, ripe bananas, peeled and thinly sliced
  • About 1 cup whole vanilla wafers

For the meringue

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup sugar


Make the crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.Combine the crust ingredients in a medium-size bowl and stir until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides to the rim of a 9-inch pie plate, forming a crust. Place in the oven and bake until golden and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

Make the filling

  • Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a medium-size bowl. Using the tip of a paring knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the inner seeds from both sides of the bean with the edge of the knife. Whisk the seeds into the sugar mixture, then slowly beat in the cream, then the milk in a thin, steady stream. Whisk in the egg yolks one at a time. Transfer the mixture to a medium-size, heavy saucepan and cook over low to medium heat, whisking constantly and gently, until it thickens, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and melted butter until thoroughly combined.Arrange the sliced bananas over the bottom crust. Pour half the pudding over the bananas, spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula. Arrange a single layer of whole vanilla wafers on top of the pudding. Pour the remaining pudding over the wafers and spread it evenly with the spatula. Place in the refrigerator and chill for 12 to 15 minutes.

Make the meringue

  • In a medium-size bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, 1 Tbs. at a time, beating continually until the sugar is completely dissolved and shiny, stiff peaks form.
  • Mound the meringue in the center of the pie, then spread it evenly around the edge of the inner crust, sealing the meringue to the crust. Use a spoon to create a design of peaks and valleys all over the meringue. Place in the oven and bake until the meringue is nicely browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack, then chill at least 1 hour before serving.


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