I recently saw banana cream pie referred to as a retro dessert. Thankfully, there are some things that never go out of style, like this family favorite.
50 vanilla wafers (about 3 cups)
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar, plus ½ cup
1/8 tsp. salt, plus ¼ teaspoon
5 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter, plus 1 ½ teaspoons, room temperature
¼ tsp. vanilla extract, plus 3/4 teaspoon
3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. powdered gelatin
¼ cup cold milk, plus ¾ cup
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, pod and scraped seeds
1 cup fresh whipped cream
5 Tbsp. caramel sauce, plus extra for garnish
3 medium bananas sliced – choose bananas don’t have dark spots yet
Preheat oven to 350﮿. Crush vanilla wafers (I pulse with food processor) and toss with brown sugar, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir in melted butter and ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract press mixture into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
Chill a medium bowl over a larger bowl filled with ice water and set aside. In another bowl, whisk egg yolks, cornstarch, and remaining ½ cup granulated sugar and ¼ teaspoon salt together until very thick and light in color. Set aside. Sprinkle gelatin over ¼ cup cold milk. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Carefully bring heavy cream, remaining 3/4 cup milk, and vanilla bean to a boil in a medium pot. Remove from heat, slowly whisk cream mixture into reserved egg mixture, pour back into pot, and stir over medium-low heat until it reaches a boil. Pour into chilled bowl, remove vanilla bean pod, and stir in gelatin mixture and remaining 1½ teaspoon butter and ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract. Let cool and fold in whipped cream.
Spread caramel sauce over crust (Resist the temptation to add additional caramel). Line with 2½ bananas and top with pudding. Chill for 2 hours. Decorate with remaining banana slices and caramel.