There are some foods that just take you back to your childhood and bring out those warm fuzzy feelings.  The great news is that many of those foods are making a resurgence and what is old is new again (think legwarmers and macramé).  Banana cream pie is one of those retro foods and is made from simple, whole foods with ingredients you can find just about everywhere, including the convenience store.  I know, because I checked the 7-11 store in town.


The beauty of this pie is not just in its simplicity, but that you can make easy substitutes:

  • Use a store-bought graham or regular pie crust if you are running short of time
  • Use semi-sweet chocolate chips if you don’t have the baking chocolate in your pantry
  • I use the 3.25% homogenized milk, because it makes the filling creamy and dreamy, but you can easily use 1% or 2% milk. This pudding recipe is great on its own or use it as a pastry cream in a fruit tart
  • If you don’t have bananas, just make the cream filling and it becomes a tasty cream pie. You can make it a flapper pie, by substituting a meringue topping instead of the whipped cream topping.  A happy accident!
  • Don’t have whipping cream on hand or you don’t have beaters: use Cool Whip or whipped cream in the can.
  • Don’t have fancy chocolate for making shavings: substitute your favourite kind of sprinkles.  The only note is that they will start to melt after a bit and give your whipped topping a tie-dyed look.  Another happy accident!

Here is a picture of our field inspector, Dave, who comes by regularly to test both my layer and pullet barns.  Today, in addition to his on-farm food-safety testing, he is doing our annual PEEP (Producer Egg Environmental Program) assessments and working through some Job Task Hazard Assessments (JTHAs) to help develop an Alberta FarmSafe Plan and build a culture of worker safety on my farm.

Dave is known for his sweet tooth and loves desserts of all types, and today one slice might not be enough!

Retro Banana Cream Pie

  • Serves: 10
  • Cooking Time: MINS
  • Total Calories: CALS

Nutrients per serving:



    1 ½ cups              graham wafer crumbs

    1/3 cup                 butter, melted

    2 oz.                       semisweet chocolate, melted


    4                              egg yolks

    ½ cup                   sugar

    1/3 cup                 cornstarch

    3 cups                   milk

    2 tbsp.                  butter

    1 tsp.                     vanilla

    2                              small bananas, sliced


    1 cup                      whipping cream

    2 tbsp.                  grated semisweet chocolate

    Filling:  In bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and ½ cup of the milk; set aside.  In heavy saucepan, heat remaining milk over medium heat until bubbles form around edge; whisk into yolk mixture.  Return to pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until thick enough to mound on spoon, about 5 minutes.  Stir in butter and vanilla.  Scrape into bowl.  Place plastic wrap directly on surface; refrigerate just until cooled, about 2 hours.

    In bowl, stir graham wafer crumbs with butter until moistened; press onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate.  Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.  Drizzle melted chocolate over bottom of crust, spread evenly with back of spoon.  Refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes.  Without stirring custard, spoon half over chocolate.  Arrange banana slices over top, overlapping slightly.  Top with remaining custard.  Place plastic wrap directly on surface; refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.  (Make-ahead:  Refrigerate for up to 12 hours.)

    Garnish:  In bowl, whip cream.  Using piping bag or with spatula, pipe into rosettes or spread to cover top.  Sprinkle with grated chocolate.  (Make ahead:  Insert 6 toothpicks into pie; drape plastic wrap loosely over top and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.)


    • 1 1/2 cups graham wafer crackers
    • 1/3 cup butter, melted
    • 2 oz semisweet chocolate, melted
    • 4 egg yolks
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/3 cup cornstarch
    • 3 cups milk
    • 2 tbsp. butter
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 2 small bananas, sliced
    • 1 cup whipping cream
    • 2 tbsp. grated semisweet chocolate