Emeril’s Famous Banana Cream Pie

Emeril's Famous Banana Cream Pie

When I mention Edie Falco, you probably think of Carmela Soprano.  I’ve barely seen more than the pilot and finale of The Sopranos, an embarrassing fact for a TV addict like me.  I have to watch it one day.  Since I’m a Sopranos novice, I think of Jackie Peyton, the main character on Nurse Jackie, when I think of Edie Falco.

Nurse Jackie is one of my favorite shows on TV.  It’s smart, touching, and one of the few shows that actually makes me laugh out loud, typically multiple times each episode.  The thirty minutes fly by, as I forget to even glance at the clock.  The credits roll far too soon, leaving me hungry for another episode.

Emeril's Famous Banana Cream Pie

Emeril's Famous Banana Cream Pie

Jackie is, of course, a nurse.  She is great at her job and cares about her patients as she does her family, fighting for the best for those around her.  She is a flawed person, having battled drug addiction which left her marriage in shambles.  Her desire to be a good person and do the right thing despite her flaws is inspiring and quite relatable.  She, like all of us, is just trying to do the best she can, which isn’t always good enough.

If you haven’t watched Nurse Jackie, perhaps you can catch up on Netflix or OnDemand.  It is definitely worth seeking out.  I would actually love to start watching from the beginning again.

Emeril's Famous Banana Cream Pie

Mom also loves the show, even if she hates to admit a Showtime show, full of swearing and adult situations, is one of her favorites.  It’s one of the many things we bond over.  Another is this Banana Cream Pie.  She has always loved banana cream pie and wanted to make it, and I’ve never had it before!  Ever!  Can you believe that?  Some high quality graham crackers from Zingerman’s inspired me to get in the kitchen and make one.

I used the famous recipe from Emeril’s New Orleans, as featured by Wolfgang Puck on the Best Thing I Ever Ate.  Since I’ll unfortunately probably never get to New Orleans, I figured I’d make it to see what all the fuss is about.  Let me tell you, this did not disappoint one bit.  I loved every bite and can’t wait to make it again . . . maybe with some peanut butter.  I made my first ever graham cracker crust, which was perfectly thick, crunchy, and slightly grainy, providing structure and texture to the layered bananas and thick, velvety vanilla bean pastry cream.  And then because it’s my favorite thing on Earth, I topped it with Italian meringue, which is lighter and a little sweeter than whipped cream.  Together the flavors and textures are a pretty unspeakably amazing combination.  My prescription: make this pie and watch Nurse Jackie.

Emeril's Famous Banana Cream Pie

Emeril's Famous Banana Cream Pie

Emeril’s Famous Banana Cream Pie

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes

Yield: 8 slices



2 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs

¼ cup granulated sugar

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


2 cups heavy cream

1 ½ cups milk (I used almond milk)

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

½ vanilla bean, split and scraped, pod and beans reserved

3 large egg yolks

2 large eggs

½ cup cornstarch

9 medium bananas, ripe but firm, sliced into ½ inch thick slices

1 recipe Italian meringue


Make the pastry cream. In a large saucepan, combine cream, milk, ½ cup sugar, and vanilla bean pod and seeds. Bring to a slow boil, whisking frequently. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, eggs, cornstarch, and 1 cup sugar until lightened in color and texture. Slowly whisk 1 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture. Do not stop whisking. Then, slowly add the egg mixture to the hot cream mixture in the pan, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until the cream has thickened substantially, about 5 minutes. Pour into a medium bowl. Allow to cool at room temperature about 30 minutes, before covering with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerating for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Make the crust. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. Pour into a pie pan and press in firmly with your hands, going all the way up the sides. Using a measuring cup press the bottom in very firmly. Bake for 15-25 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely.

Assemble the pie. Remove the vanilla bean pod from the pastry cream. Spread ½ cup pastry cream over the bottom of the cooled crust, smoothing into an even layer with a rubber spatula. Cover with bananas in a circular pattern. Press down on the bananas firmly but gently. Spread ¾ cup cream over the bananas, then cover with another layer of bananas and press down on them. Spread another ¾ cup cream over this layer of bananas and layer remaining bananas over the top, leaving about ½ inch border. Press down on bananas before topping with remaining cream. Cover the bananas entirely with the cream or they will brown. Cover the pie tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

When ready to serve the pie, top with Italian meringue. Do not top more than 30 minutes in advance or it will slide off. Alternatively, top individual pieces with meringue.


Recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse


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  1. Ooooh my mom is crazy about banana cream pie too and this looks omg soooo goooooood!

  2. I believe everything from Emeril is famous. And most of it rightly so. Now I have never had a banana cream pie. I know, horrors! But this might tempt me to try one! It looks superb!

  3. This is seriously good pie.

  4. I love banana cream pie… this looks phenomenal! I’ve made homemade (butterscotch) pudding (once), and it was not as hard as I thought it’d be (and SO delicious). I’ve not, however, made a meringue. Seems a bit daunting!

    • Thanks, Tamara! The meringue is totally not that hard. I make it all the time, and though it requires a candy thermometer, it’s pretty simple. But if you don’t want to make the meringue, whipped cream would be great, though heavier, or truthfully, the pie would be awesome without a topping! I’ve always wanted to make butterscotch pudding.

      • Good point about the whipped cream (or no topping). I’m not a huge meringue fan, anyway (and don’t currently own a candy thermometer). I won’t let that hold me back from making this pie some time soon!

        • If you ever get a candy thermometer, you should try this meringue. It tastes like marshmallow fluff instead of traditional meringue. I could seriously eat the entire bowl of it.

  5. I´ve yet to make my first banana cream pie, maybe because I don´t care much for cream. But this recipe sounds like the real deal Laura! Nurse Jackie was shown here last year, but I have my doubts it´s coming back again.

    • I think you would like this pie, especially with the meringue on top instead of whipped cream. I bet you could swap out some of the cream in the filling with milk to make it a little lighter too!

  6. It’s gorgeous, no wonder it’s famous!

  7. Jessica says:

    Ok, I am going to have to try to make this one. Banana cream pie is a family favorite and the pictures you have are great! Really fantastic job 🙂 Have never had it with a graham cracker crust before, which is odd because when you said it that seemed like the most natural pairing ever.

    • I’m surprised you’ve never had it with a graham crust – that’s very traditional. I think every recipe I looked at had a graham crust. It is wonderful! What kind of crust are you used to? I really hope you do make it – you’ll love it, Jessica!

  8. I will say please, may I have the bigger slice however?

  9. This looks seriously amazing! I want a slice of this pie very badly now! I love Nurse Jackie. It’s hilarious! Too bad I don’t have Showtime… but I have seasons 1-3 which I watch A LOT! 😛

  10. wow!!! I just want to dive in and overload my tastebuds with this decadence.

  11. I am obsessed with banana cream pie!! This doesn’t even sound that hard to make – or you just make it look easy 🙂

    • It’s not too hard to make, but it does take awhile. Just set aside some time to make it – it’s soooo worth it 🙂

  12. Oh my goodness, this looks so good. I’m honestly, not a huge banana pie fan but I think you just changed my mind!

  13. Banana desserts are my favorite!! I’m seriously craving something sweet, creamy, and banana-y now 🙂

  14. Your pie looks fantastic, and I love that you used meringue on top. You’ve described it so perfectly, I could almost taste it!

  15. Awesome recipe…I loved the picture…The colour and the texture of the banana cream pie is tempting me so much to try the recipe out! Thanks!! 🙂

  16. Ok I didn’t even know a pie like this existed and now i am intrigued as I love cream pies like this! Bookmarking this for a summer BBQ :p

    • You didn’t know about banana cream pie? I can’t believe that. If you like cream pies, you will love this, Natalie!

  17. This pie looks absolutely sinful! I need to try this! Pinned!

  18. I love love love banana cream pie! I had this amazing banana pie in St. Lucia last weekend, Laura. It was banana cream pie – more crumbly than anything else. But it was SO good. And this looks incredible.

  19. I have to admit I never had banana cream pie. The closest thing was banoffee pie and I loved that one. I should give this pie a try. It looks incredibly delicious!!!!

    • I bet this is somewhat similar to banoffee pie. I hope you do give it a try. Thanks for visiting!

  20. I’m right in the middle of watching The Sopranos for a second full-time through, right now. I haven’t seen Nurse Jackie yet, but that’s on my list! I love being able to go on TV-watching binges with full series of shows 🙂 This pie…looks…..whoa. Yes.

  21. Debbie Eccard says:

    Yummy! I shared on Facebook so my friends can see and try it!

  22. I don’t know if it’s famous but the pictures pie looks amazing. All these bananas and cream inside, are dreamy. A must-try recipe.

  23. sudhakar says:

    Wow creamy lusciousness. Each component is great in itself.

  24. That filling!! Omg it looks sooo good! Anything with 9 bananas!! is going to be good! And I thought my 6-banana banana bread was going the distance 🙂

  25. This looks A.MAZ.ING. and I’m going to be making it for my husband’s 30th birthday! I have one question… on foodporndaily.com it says it has a marshmallow topping. Here’s the link – http://foodporndaily.com/pictures/thick-vanilla-bean-banana-cream-pie-with-buttery-graham-cracker-crust-and-marshmallow-topping/

    Was this person just mistaken or did you try a version with the marshmallow?

    BTW I tooootally intend to eat me some banana cream pie with Nurse Jackie. You have good taste, homie.

    • Hi Manda! I’m so glad you are going to make this pie – it is outstanding! As for the marshmallow, the recipe links to the Italian meringue from my lemon meringue pie. In my house we refer to it as marshmallow because it tastes like marshmallow topping. You can always use whipped cream instead, but we definitely prefer the meringue for a lighter, sweeter, gooey goodness on top. Please let me know how the pie turns out 🙂

  26. OMG! looks soooooooo good
    so decadent ! i love cream pies and i just love banana cream pie
    i have tried , classic old fashioned, caramel banana cream pie with graham cracker crust,
    and now im about to try new with some liquor in it such as brandy or rum! Yum~
    and i just got found your recipe, its like combination of classic and kind of more funkyness? haha
    idk btw looks so Funkalicious xDDDDD hehe (i havent tried this recipe but im gaving it 5 stars! no comment )

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