Banana Cream Pie in a Jar
A creative dessert alternative for individual ‘pies’ that feel special
What’s better than a slice of pie, you ask? A pie in a jar, of course. America’s Test Kitchen shares their kitchen-tested recipe for Banana Cream Pie in a Jar, a fun twist on traditional desserts, for the holidays or any time of year.
Who needs a whole pie when everyone can have their own personal pie jar for Thanksgiving? This unique take on banana cream pie should be on your holiday table.
For a rich, smooth, and creamy custard, we turned to three tips.
- First, we use a technique called tempering to slowly warm up the egg yolks so that they thicken the custard but don’t turn into scrambled eggs.
- Then, we constantly stir the custard as it finishes cooking and press it through a strainer to catch any solid bits.
- Finally, pressing plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard prevents a solid “skin” from forming as it chills.
Banana Cream Pie in a Jar
- 2 ripe bananas
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon table salt
- 1 1/4 cups half-and-half
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 whole graham crackers, broken into pieces (or 1/3 cup store-bought graham cracker crumbs)
- Whipped cream
- Slice one banana into 1/2-inch-thick circles. In a large bowl, whisk sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch and salt until smooth and pale yellow, about 1 minute.
- In a medium saucepan, combine half-and-half and sliced banana. Place saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally with rubber spatula, until mixture comes to simmer, 5 to 7 minutes (small bubbles should break often across surface of mixture). Turn off heat.
- Place bowl with egg yolk mixture on top of a damp dish towel. Use a ladle to measure 1/2 cup hot half-and-half mixture into a liquid measuring cup. Slowly pour into egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly (the towel will keep the bowl steady).
- Pour warm egg yolk mixture back into saucepan with half-and-half mixture. Return saucepan to medium heat and cook, using rubber spatula to stir gently but constantly, until mixture begins to bubble and is thickened and pudding-like, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Use a rubber spatula to scrape custard into the fine-mesh strainer. Gently stir and press custard through the strainer (do not try to force banana pieces through the strainer). Discard solids in strainer.
- Add butter and vanilla to custard and whisk until butter is melted. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard. Place bowl in refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
- When custard is chilled, place cracker pieces in a large zipper-lock plastic bag. Press out as much air as possible from bag and seal bag. Use rolling pin to gently crush graham crackers into crumbs. Place 1 tablespoon crumbs in the bottom of each of four jars.
- Peel remaining banana. Slice banana into 1/2-inch-thick circles. Use a clean rubber spatula to divide chilled custard evenly among jars. Top each jar with whipped cream, banana slices, and remaining graham cracker crumbs, dividing evenly. Serve.
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