Banana Cream Pie, with ripe bananas, homemade vanilla pudding, and a Nilla Wafer crust, is a true American classic when it comes to desserts. Each bite is a flavor explosion full of different textures that will send you right back to your youth. This is the best homemade Banana Cream Pie recipe you will find!
To make the crust, combine Nilla wafer crumbs and melted butter in small bowl. Press into an 9-inch pie dish. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes. Allow to cool on wire rack.
To make the filling, you will make a vanilla pudding on the cooktop. Combine sugar and cornstarch in medium sauce pan. Stir in half and half. Scrape vanilla bean and add scrapings plus until pod to mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture is thick and bubbly and starts to stick to the bottom. This should take about 5-10 minutes.
Add egg yolks to medium sized bowl. Slowly add one ladle of hot cream mixture to egg yolks while whisking rapidly. Continue to ladle hot mixture into egg yolks until at least one cup of hot mixture has been added. Then, pour warm egg yolk mixture into hot half and half mixture on the stove, whisking constantly. Allow mixture to come to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to low. Continue to stir and allow to cook until thickened, about 2-5 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Remove vanilla bean (but be sure to scrape out as many of the seeds as possible first) and discard pod.
Slice bananas and add to cookie crust. Fill until the top of the bananas are level with the top of the crust.
Top with warm pudding, tilting pie dish as necessary to fully distribute the pudding to coat the bananas. There might be excess pudding. Just fill as much as possible without spilling. Cover with plastic wrap allowing the plastic wrap to rest directly onto the pudding to prevent skin from forming and refrigerate at least an hour.
Remove pie from refrigerator and top with stabilized whipped cream. You can spread it on, pipe it on, or both. Top with additional banana slices or banana chips. Keep pie in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Best if enjoyed on the same day. Bananas will brown and get mushy as time passes.
Recipe for making your own stabilized whipped cream: https://selfproclaimedfoodie.com/stabilized-whipped-cream