Banana Cream Pie

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This isn’t just any banana cream pie—it’s a special one with a chocolate-lined crust, a layer of sea salt caramel, and classic banana pudding on top. Inspired by the famous Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, this pie is one of our all-time favorite desserts. Our mom used to drive us to the city, about 2 hours away, mainly for this pie. We loved it then and still love making our version now. It’s the best banana cream pie and worth every bit of extra effort.

Banana Cream Pie

Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Setting 4 hours
Course Dessert
Servings 8


– **Crust and Caramel:**

  • – 1 flaky pie crust blind baked
  • – 1/2 cup sea salt caramel
  • – 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped

– **Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream:**

  • – 2 cups whole milk
  • – 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • – 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • – 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • – 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • – 2 large eggs
  • – 4 tablespoons salted butter

– **Whipped Cream:**

  • – 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • – 2 tablespoons sugar
  • – 1 teaspoon vanilla or 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

– **Other:**

  • – 3 bananas sliced


**Prepare the Pastry Cream:**

  • Set aside a bowl with a fine-mesh sieve on top to cool the pastry cream.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and sugar. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth.
  • In a saucepan, pour in the milk and vanilla bean paste. Add the salt and mix. Heat on medium-high until just under a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent the milk solids from sticking to the pan.
  • When the milk is warm, add 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from cooking. Then pour the egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk. Whisk over medium heat until the mixture thickens to the consistency of lightly whipped cream. Remove from heat just before boiling and pour through the sieve into the bowl.
  • Let the cream cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When it reaches 140°F, mix in the butter one piece at a time, stirring until smooth.
  • Cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled. Do not whisk the cream once chilled as it will break down.


  • Melt the chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second increments, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.
  • Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the tart shell and cool in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  • Whip the cream, vanilla, and sugar in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until medium peaks form.
  • Spread the caramel over the chocolate in a thin, even layer.
  • Place the sliced bananas in an even layer or two over the caramel.
  • Spread the chilled pastry cream over the bananas to form an even layer.
  • Top with the whipped cream, using a spatula to smooth it out.
  • Refrigerate the pie for at least 3 hours before serving.

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