As any southerner worth her salt knows, "banana pudding" is not, in fact, banana pudding. It's vanilla pudding -- layered with banana slices and Nilla wafers, topped with whipped cream or meringue. Here, I take the dessert from trifle to pie. I also update the pudding, from vanilla to malted milk. I developed this particular pudding recipe while writing an article on homemade ice pops, so if you happen to have any leftover, stick in the freezer for a cool-down treat. —Emma Laperruque
one 9-inch pie
Malted milk pudding
2 1/3 cups
malted milk powder
unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons
1 1/2 cups
Nilla wafer crumbs
unsalted butter, melted
1 to 2
bananas, thickly sliced
heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
In This Recipe
Make the pudding: Gently heat the milk in a saucepan over low heat. Meanwhile, whisk together the yolks, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and malted milk powder until smooth. Add the milk to the sugary yolks, splash by splash (this avoids scrambling the eggs). Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and continue to cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until very thick. Add the butter and vanilla extract. Press through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any lumps. Seal the top with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.
Make the crust: Combine the crumbs, butter, sugar, and salt in a big bowl. The mixture should just hold together when squeezed. If it seems too dry, add a bit more butter. Press into a 9-inch pie tin. Freeze for at least 1 hour and up to 1 month.
Bake the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 10 minutes, until deeply browned and crispy. Let cool completely.
Assemble the pie: Spread a thin layer of pudding on the bottom of the pie shell. Add a layer of bananas. Top with the malted milk pudding and fill to the brim of the crust. Top with the whipped cream and a few more banana slices in the very center. Chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 6 hours before serving.
Emma is a writer and recipe developer at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram and Twitter at @emmalaperruque.