Today I'm sharing this incredibly easy, incredibly delicious Banana Pudding Pie. While it's not a traditional pie as you'll be serving it in slices (it's much better to just dig in and scoop out a serving with a large spoon) we're building it like a pie, complete with vanilla wafer cookie crust and whipped topping.
Like most recipes requiring bananas, the secret is all in the ripeness of the bananas. You're not looking for banana bread ripeness, where the peel is pretty much brown and the banana itself is super soft to the touch. With this recipe, you're looking for banana peels that have a decent amount of brown speaks all over the peel and the banana itself is slightly firm, possibly with a few soft spots.
I highly recommend making this pie the night before you want it so the bananas and the pudding can sort of "steep" together so when you dig in to it the flavor is unreal.
So why the cookie crust if we're not serving this in slices? Because I think the vanilla wafer cookies are one of the best details of the dessert. I love the texture that cookie crumbs give to anything with a soft texture and of course, the flavor. Who doesn't love vanilla wafer cookies?! And we don't stop with the crust. After you've done the crust, you'll layer banana slices next and then another single layer of whole vanilla wafer cookies on top of that. Then you just pour the vanilla pudding on top of all of it and let it do it's thing and seep through the layers of banana slices and cookies.
For the Crust:
- 2 cups vanilla wafer cookie crumbs
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
For the filling:
- 5.2 oz box vanilla instant pudding mix not cook & serve
- 2 cups cold milk for the pudding: preferably 2% or whole
- 3 ripened bananas peeled and cut into small slices
- 15-20 vanilla wafer cookies
- *cool whip or whipped cream for the top of the pie garnish with sprinkles and crushed cookie crumbs if desired
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously spray a 9 inch pie dish with non stick spray, set aside.
- Using a food processor or plastic bag and kitchen mallot, crush the cookies into fine crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a mixing bowl and add in the ground cinnamon and melted butter. Mix the ingredients together until the crumbs are evenly coated with the melted butter. Pour the cookie crumbs into the pie dish and firmly pat the crumbs to form a crust. Bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, assemble the pudding according to package instructions. Most pudding mixes just call for the dry ingredients and cold milk. Peel and slice the bananas into small slices.
- When the crust has cooled slightly, layer the banana slices on top of the crust, forming a even, single layer. Then layer the cookies on top of the banana slices forming as single layer as well. Pour the vanilla pudding over the layers, completely covering it. Smooth out the pudding with a spoon if necessary.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight to chill. When ready to serve you can layer cool whip or whipped cream on the top of the pie if desired. Use a large serving spoon to scoop out portions.