Banana cream pie (in a cup)

This pie-for-dummies recipe makes banana cream pie easy, simple (no crust) and portable. Homey and comforting, this casual take on a classic is really vanilla pudding dressed up dressed up with bananas and vanilla wafers. Adapted from The Mac + Cheese Cookbook: 50 Simple Recipes from HOMEROOM, America’s Favorite Mac and Cheese Restaurant.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large bananas, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
  • 18 to 24 vanilla wafers

Preparation

  1. To make the pudding: In a bowl whisk together 1 cup of milk, egg yolks, cornstarch, sugar and vanilla. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the remaining 5 cups of milk over medium heat.
  2. When the milk begins to simmer, add the milk-yolk-cornstarch mixture and whisk rapidly. Continue stirring over medium heat for a few minutes until the mixture thickens. When it’s thick, the whisk will leave track marks as you stir, and the pudding will bubble like lava when you stop. Careful of your hands, as the popping bubbles splatter hot pudding.
  3. Remove pudding from the heat and pour into a large bowl. Let cool at room temperature for an hour or more (it continues to thicken as it cools).
  4. To assemble: In six (or eight) 8-ounce cups or mason jars, layer 2 or 3 vanilla wafers, 2 or 3 banana slices, and 1/2 cup (or 1/3 for smaller servings) of pudding. Repeat to fill.
  5. Cover each cup or jar and refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. The pudding will soften the vanilla wafers and create a soft layer of “piecrust.” Refrigerating the custard will also allow the pudding to continue to thicken. You may serve it warm, but the pudding won’t come together quite as well. Before serving, top with fresh banana slices and/or cookie crumbles if you like.

Makes six 8-ounce servings (or eight 6-ounce servings, which I think work better for kids).

Notes

  • Make ahead: You can store the pudding covered for up to 2 days in the refrigerator before assembling the pie servings.
  • For a richer pudding, use 1 cup cream (as Homeroom does) or half-and-half in place of 1 cup whole milk.
  • “Crust” variations: graham crackers, digestive biscuits, or Oreo (really what you want to use are Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers, which are Oreos without the filling). These options work better if you crumble the cookies first, as they are not as small and absorbent as vanilla wafers.

Here’s a link back to the post and pictures.

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