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Banana Custard Pie with Caramelized Sugar

8 to 10 Servings

2¼ hours 40 minutes active, plus cooling

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Handmade, freshly baked pies sold by the slice are a specialty of the beach town of Yelapa in Jalisco state on Mexico’s west coast. Inspired by those Yelapa delights, recipe writer Paola Briseño-González created a simple, rustic banana custard pie with a sturdy, sandy-textured crust. We adapted her recipe, blending a banana into the custard mixture instead of only studding it with slices, for a creamy filling suffused with tropical flavor. As with most custard pies, this crust must be prebaked, so you will need pie weights for this recipe (about 2 cups works best to prevent shrinking and slipping during prebaking). And if you own a kitchen torch, this pie is a good reason to dig it out. It’s an optional step, but sprinkling the baked, cooled pie with sugar and brûléeing it until caramelized elevates the dessert, giving it a crackly-crisp surface and a lovely dappled look. Serve slices with lightly sweetened, softly whipped cream. Covered well, leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days (though if you caramelized the surface, the sugar crust will gradually soften).

8 to 10



Don’t use underripe bananas, but don’t use overripe ones, either. The bananas should be ripe so they’re sweet and creamy but not so ripe that they’re brown and mushy in texture. Don’t make the dough in advance. It’s easiest to work with when just made. Also, don’t roll it too thin; aim for ¼-inch thickness. If the dough tears when putting it into the pie plate, simply patch it; it’s very forgiving that way.

2¼ hours

40 minutes active, plus cooling


  • 195

    grams (1½ cups) all-purpose flour

  • ½

    teaspoon table salt, divided


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Bill O.
May 30, 2022
Great Pie
Wonderful dessert. I don't usually make my own pie crust, but I did for this and it was worth it. Will make again.
Robyne C.
September 22, 2022
Great crust
I really liked the crust for this pie. And it was so easy to make. Could I use this crust for something else, like a quiche maybe?
Christine G.
November 29, 2022
Silky and sweet
We loved the silky smooth texture I never made a hot water crust before but it was easy. I didn’t have shortening so I substituted coconut oil and worked perfectly. I only wish there was a way to reduce the sweetness a little bit. Maybe reduce the amount of sweetened condensed milk and make up for the liquid with a little more milk? I might try that next time.
Jennifer B.
November 24, 2023
Ok, but doesn't present well
Not so sweet, which is good, but not a beautiful pie either.
Michael R.
November 24, 2023
My custard turned out having kind of a gritty texture. It was good overall, but I assumed the texture would be smooth. What can be done to prevent a gritty texture?
Diana F.

The recipe for the banana pie says to line the bottom of the pie shell with bananas. Then pour in the filling. Some bananas might float to the top. Yet in the picture bananas are neatly placed on top. Then torched. Where do the bananas go? Top or bottom

Lynn C.

Hi Diana -

The bananas go into the crust first then the custard gets poured over the bananas. Most of the bananas will, in fact, rise to the top. Then, if you choose to and have a kitchen torch, you can sprinkle sugar over the top of the pie and caramelize the sugar/bananas that floated to the top.

The Milk Street Team

Diana L.

I made this pie. It was good. It was all gone in one night. It tasted like the creme brulee with bananas and pie crust. I felt like the dough was not enough to cover my 10 in dish. I watched making this banana pie on YouTube and it seems there was more dough in the video once it was added to the pie dish. It had thick edges. Next time, I will make more dough. Also, in the YouTube video it shows you how to transfer the dough to the pie dish. I had failed 3 times then watched the video and it finally worked. My dough did shrink after baking it. It didn't end up pretty but the pie was good.

William H.

The recipe calls for a "9-inch pie plate" (step 3).

Jennifer A.

Delicious recipe and super simple! We are definitely making this again, but my custard came out a little grainy. Is there something I might have done wrong? Thank you!

maureen s.

Is there a way to make the crust without using vegetable shortening? It's all hydrogenated at the store and I don't do anything hydrogenated. thanks.