This gluten free Banana Cream Pie reminds me of my dad, it was always his favourite. I never made a lot of pie since my mom was the pie expert in our family. I want to show you that you can make whatever you want, so when a reader asked me for a Banana Cream Pie recipe I said sure. Here are the tips for gluten free cooks to be successful on the first try.
Many people love creamy, smooth desserts like a velvety chocolate pudding or a tart lemon curd. I enjoy variety in every category so I think custard desserts are heavenly.
Custard desserts are often thickened with cornstarch so are naturally gluten free. This custard filling uses both cornstarch and egg yolks to thicken it and ensure that when cut, the pie will hold it’s shape on a plate.
Custard is usually made in a pot on the stove and then as it cools a thin film forms on the top. To prevent this from happening simply place a piece of waxed paper over the surface of the warm custard. Plastic wrap or parchment also work but I prefer the weight and flexibility of waxed paper for this job.
PIN for later...
For this recipe you need firm yellow bananas. Ripe bananas are too soft and much sweeter than yellow skins with a touch of green. You need the firm ones for the best Banana Cream Pie.
KITCHEN TIP – Peel over ripe bananas and freeze in containers in the amount you will use. I freeze three bananas in a container to make banana muffins or just one to make a smoothie. Freeze accordingly.
Gluten Free Pie Pastry
I’ve been very happy with this recipe for gluten free pastry. For several years I've been making this pastry recipe in my cooking classes. We make Cherry Hand Pies since we want to eat them and they cook in less time than a whole pie.
I eat them at every class so I’m confident the pastry is light, flaky and delicious.
I also use this pastry recipe to make quiche, meat pies and pumpkin pie. The frozen individual quiches amazed me at how flaky the pastry was after being reheated in the microwave (on half power). And I’d swear no one could tell the pumpkin pie was gluten free.
Yet my prebaked pastry shell in this recipe feels like it's about 90% there. It's not quite as good as the results I get in recipes where the pastry bakes with the filling.
I took these two tips from America’s Test Kitchen.
- All butter pastry with the addition of sour cream makes a rich pastry.
- Rice vinegar is best for flakiness.
Yet I find this same pastry recipe to not be as tender as a pre-baked pie shell. I know my readers are baking with all sorts of different gluten free flour combinations based on their specific dietary needs, what's available and of course your individual taste.
It's impossible to compare recipes made with different flours but if you have a tip I'm happy to hear what you've learned. In the meantime I'll keep testing and tasting.
Get The Tools
You don't need much more than a pie plate and a rolling pin to make pie. And I'm sure savvy shoppers can find frozen pastry shells that are gluten free. But if you are a baker here are a few tools to collect.
- A standard pyrex 9-inch pie plate with a fluted edge is needed for many recipes. If you change to colourful ceramic deep dish pie plate you'll need to adjust the cooking times or your filling may not set so choose wisely.
- Every baker needs a rolling pin whether it’s a classic wooden rolling pin, a heavy marble one designed to stay cool for working with pastry or a modern silicone style rolling pin.
- Flexible baking mats or inexpensive light weight cutting boards are perfect for flipping pastry to ensure it doesn’t stick.
- I like power tools so I have a small electric hand mixer, a very old stand mixer and a more modern Kitchen Aid. For minimalists custard and cream can be mixed and whipped with a nice collection of wire whisks. Take your pick.
- If you're interested in the science of gluten free baking America's Test Kitchen has published two cookbooks that will be a great resource for years to come.
Let me know in the comments below how your Banana Cream Pie turned out and about your pastry experience.
Good luck and keep baking!
New here? Join our community and get your FREE resource, the tips I wish I knew when I started cooking gluten free.
Yes, I need 29 Tips For Cooking with Gluten Free Flour.
Still haven't mastered gluten-free cooking? Check out our online Cooking Classes.
Banana Cream Pie
- 1- 9 inch pre baked gluten free pie shell
- 2-3 firm bananas (not over ripe)
- 1¼ cupa milk (I use 2%)
- 1 cup whipping cream
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 4 egg yolks
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoon butter, room temperature
- 1½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 tablespoon icing sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- thin slices of banana
- Combine milk, cream, sugar and salt in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk until sugar is dissolved.
- In a 2-cup pyrex measuring cup, whisk together egg yolks and cornstarch.
- Continue whisking egg while slowly pouring in 1 cup of hot milk mixture. This warms the eggs without cooking them.
- Slowly pour the egg mixture back into the milk while whisking continuously. Increase heat if needed, whisk until mixture thickens and big bubbles begin to pop on the surface, 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla.
- Pour custard filling into a bowl. Cover with waxed paper and cool for 15 minutes.
- Slice bananas, not too thin, and arrange in an overlapping pattern on bottom of the piecrust. Reserve some slices for garnish.
- Pour filling over the bananas and smooth the top. Cover with the waxed paper to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Just before serving beat cream. Add icing sugar and vanilla. Beat just until stiff peaks form.
- Pile whipped cream in center of pie and garnish with banana slices.