Friday, May 24, 2013


Are you still trying to figure out what to bring to that Memorial Day picnic this weekend?  Well look no farther, I’ve got just the thing…Banana Cream Pie. 

And guess what?
You don’t have to feel one iota of guilt about eating a slice of this creamy deliciousness.  

This pie is loaded with bananas which are fruit, and fruit is healthy!

Aaand it’s reduced fat, using coconut milk in place of the usual heavy cream!  Regular coconut milk has less than half the fat of heavy cream.

Why this Banana Cream Pie is practically a health food!

Just humor me, it’s better that way.

As I celebrate this Memorial Day weekend, I give thanks for those who gave their lives for us in the line of duty; and I pray for those families who gave their loved ones for us.

John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

Now I’m not quite sure how to make that transition back to pie so I’ll just say…

Here’s what you do.

Coconut milk is used in place of heavy cream in this recipe; it has much less fat, and tastes yummy!

Add the coconut milk, regular milk, and 1/2 cup sugar to a 3 quart sauce pan.

Also split a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds out and add both the seeds and the bean to the mixture.

Vanilla beans are rather pricey, so you may choose to add vanilla extract, if that's the case, don't add the vanilla extract yet.

Scald (don't boil) the milk over medium heat, giving it a whisk every few minutes.

Meanwhile, add the egg yolks, whole eggs, the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar and corn starch to a medium bowl.

Whisk the egg mixture until it's pale yellow and slightly frothy.

 If using vanilla extract, whisk it into the egg mixture now.

Whisk 1 cup of the scalded milk to the egg mixture; this will temper the eggs so that you have a smoother product.

Now the tempered eggs can be added to the milk.

Continue to cook while whisking, continually.

When the mixture begins to thicken, switch to stirring with a wooden spoon.

The mixture will cook for about 5 minutes total, until it's thickened into custard.

Pour the cooked custard through a strainer, placed over a bowl.

Discard the vanilla bean and any solids that remain in the strainer.

Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Now for the Nilla Wafer Pie Shell.

Put 60 Nilla Wafers (I used Reduced Fat Nilla Wafers) into the bowl of the food processor, and pulse until you have fine crumbs.

Add the sugar, cinnamon, salt, melted butter and 1 egg white to the crumbs; pulse that until the mixture is combined.

That's Matilda washing her face in the back ground; she's a very clean little girl!

Dump all of the crumbs into a 9 inch pie dish.

I used a deep dish because there's quite a lot of pie filling, if you don't have a deep dish your pie will be more mounded, and that's okay!

Use the pads of your fingers to press firmly, the crumbs on the bottom and up the sides of the dish.   

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Spoon about 3/4 cup of the custard into the bottom of the completely cooled pie shell.

Use the back of a spoon to spread it evenly over the bottom.
 I almost forgot to mention, slice 6 bananas into a little more that 1/8 inch thick slices.

Add a layer of bananas in a tile pattern; be sure the bananas are touching.

Spread another 3/4 cup of custard over the bananas and add a second layer of bananas.

Repeat with another layer of custard and a third layer of bananas.

Spread the remaining custard over the third layer of bananas, taking it right to the edge, being sure the bananas are completely covered (this keeps them from discoloring).

Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the custard and refrigerate for at least four hours.

This pie is for banana lovers only; see those layers of bananas...ya, and the pie is pretty heavy to lift too!

Use a sharp knife to cut through the pie, and be sure to serve the pie cold.

Serve with whipped cream and garnish with a Nilla Wafer.

Since we would be eating only a couple of slices from the pie at this time, I only put whipped cream on those slices; so that I could put the plastic wrap back on the pie before storing it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Serves 10

1              can           Coconut milk, a can is 13.5 ounces
2              cups         Milk, whole milk or 2% which ever you prefer
1 ¼          cups          Granulated sugar, divided use
1                              Vanilla bean (or 2 tsp. vanilla extract)
3                              Egg yolks (keep 1 of the egg whites to use in the crust)
2                              Whole eggs
½             cup           Corn starch
1                              Nilla Wafer pie shell, recipe follows
6                              Bananas, sliced between 1/8 and ¼ inch thick

   1.       In a 3 quart sauce pan whisk together the coconut milk, regular milk, and ½ cup of the sugar; split the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds using the back of a paring knife, and add the seeds and the vanilla bean (if using vanilla extract do not add it now)to the milk as well.  Scald the mixture over medium heat, do not boil.
   2.       Meanwhile in a medium bowl, add the egg yolks, whole eggs, the remaining ¾ cup of sugar and the corn starch .  Whisk for several minutes, until the mixture is a real pale yellow (you may wish to use a hand held mixer)(If using vanilla extract add that now).
   3.       Whisk about 1 cup of the scalded milk into the egg mixture (this tempers the eggs).  Now whisk the egg mixture into the pan of scalded milk.  Cook while whisking continually, once it starts to thicken, switch to a wooden spoon and stir continually, until the mixture thickens to the constancy of custard (or pudding), this will take about 5 minutes.
   4.       Place a strainer over a large bowl and pour the custard through the strainer, use the back of a spoon, or a rubber spatula to press the custard through the strainer.  Once it’s strained, place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on to the custard, and refrigerate for 4 hours.
   5.       Now to assemble the pie.  Spread about ¾ cup of the custard in the bottom of the prepared, cooled pie shell.  Arrange about 1/3 of the bananas in a tile pattern, with the bananas touching, over the custard. Spread another ¾ cup of custard over the bananas, and add a second layer of bananas.  Spread another ¾ cup of custard, and add the third layer of bananas.  Finally spread the remaining custard over the entire pie; be sure that the bananas are completely covered with custard, this keeps the bananas from turning brown.
   6.       Cover the pie by laying a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the custard.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before cutting with a sharp knife.  This pie must be served cold.
   7.       Garnish with a little whip cream and a Nilla Wafer.

Note:  This pie is best served fresh, but will keep for about 3 days in the refrigerator.


Makes 1- 9 inch pie shell

60                          Nilla Wafer cookies, Reduced Fat
¼             tsp.         Cinnamon
¼             tsp.         Salt
3              Tbsp.        Melted butter
1                             Egg white

   1.       Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
   2.       In the bowl of a food processor add the Nilla Wafers.  Pulse until you have fine crumbs.
   3.       Add the cinnamon, salt, melted butter and egg white to the food processor and pulse just until everything is mixed.
   4.       Dump the crumb mixture into a 9 inch pie dish (I used a deep pie dish for this pie).  Use the pads of your fingers to press and pack the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pie dish and up the sides as well.
   5.       Bake for 10 minutes.
   6.       Allow to cool completely before filling the pie shell.

You may also like:
Pumpkin Cheesecake, Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Coconut and Lime Baked Custard

This recipe was shared at:
Foodie Friends Friday


  1. Ohhhh the nilla waffers! I love southern style banana pudding, and this is similar to that but in pie form...and it's better for you! Love the coconut pudding idea!

  2. YUM! Your're right this is practically health food! Perfect for my banana loving family. I've never attempted a banana cream pie, but I think I will have to this summer. Thanks for sharing Kari and have a great holiday weekend!

  3. LOVE the use of nilla nd coconut milk here. SO so yum :)

  4. This looks really good, love the coconut milk~

  5. In my family we all love banana cake and this recipe looks delicious!
    Greta idea to use coconut milk, it adds a lot of flavor and is lighter and healthier.
    Great post, thank you Kari!

  6. You make this look simple. I don't know that mine would go that well! I made coconut milk gelato yesterday. It was amazing :) I have all the ingredients. may have to give it a whirl!