Can You Make a Great Cream Pie Filling in the Microwave?

banana cream pie tall_red_edited-1.jpg

Banana Cream Pie--filling cooked in the microwave

Yes!  In only 7 minutes, you can make the smoothest, tastiest cream pie filling your taste buds have ever encountered.  No double boiler or hot stove.  No scorching or burning.

I know not everybody gets excited about microwave ovens but I do. I’ve been using mine to make cream pie filling and pudding ever since I taught microwave cooking classes back in the era of stick-up bangs and matching socks to our tops. In those days, the microwave was magical and mysterious.  Although they seem to have fallen into disrepute with some, I remain a huge fan.  Admittedly, they aren’t efficient for large quantities so it’s completely understandable why restaurants and bakeries might not use them.  But for home cooks making one or two pies, it’s the best and easiest way, in my opinion.

slice banana cream pie red

Best eaten within 24 hrs. Sliced bananas don't age well.

One thing for sure, I’m less tempted to use a mix (questionable taste and ingredients) or a grocery-store pie (where’s the love and homemade flavor?) when I can whip up this cream filling quickly and effortlessly.

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Super flaky and buttery pie crust with a magic ingredient.

I’m excited about the flaky pie crust seen with this pie but I’m saving the details for my next post.   Come back in a few days to see why I’ve been testing and baking pie crusts like crazy.

NOTE to banana haters: Leave them out for a fabulous vanilla bean cream pie that stands on its own merits.

Banana Cream Pie Made in the Microwave
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Use a microwave to make this super quick, super easy banana cream pie…from scratch.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups milk (any type will work but I use ¼ cup whipping cream and 2 cups skim milk)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 or 9-inch baked pie crust
Instructions
  1. Dump milk, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt into blender or food processor. You may also whisk by hand–vigorously. Blend for about 10 seconds. Don’t worry about the foam–it will disappear as filling cooks.
  2. Pour filling into 2-quart Pyrex glass batter bowl. Cook in microwave on HIGH for 5-7 minutes whisking well after each minute. After 4 minutes, whisk every 30 seconds. Watch filling carefully. It will become thick in a split second and you want to be there to whisk and make sure filling cooks evenly. When this happens it may look like a big lump rising up in the middle or one side. Whisk furiously and it will all smooth out. Keep cooking till thick as pudding but do not allow to boil. Pour the custard through a sieve for the smoothest filling you’ve ever tasted.
  3. Stir vanilla and butter into thick custard. Press plastic wrap over the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool on the counter (or in ice bath if you are short on time) until lukewarm.
  4. Whisk cream and pour thin layer into pie shell. Slice a single layer of bananas then cover with another layer of cream. Repeat. In the end, you should have three layers of cream with two layers of bananas, ending with the cream on top. Smooth as much as possible, cover with plastic wrap pressed to the surface to prevent a skin from forming and chill as least a couple hours before serving. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

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Layer cream with bananas inside baked pie shell.

 

 

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Michaela April 13, 2011 at 10:26 am

So easy, so delicious, and so one of the few kinds of pie that I am willing to eat.

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Connie April 13, 2011 at 11:52 am

That looks so easy, compared to stirring constantly over a hot stove! And quick to make, great idea.

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Betty @ scrambled hen fruit April 13, 2011 at 7:56 pm

That looks really good! Banana cream pie was one of my dad’s favorites. :) I only have a very small microwave, but I’m pretty sure it would do this. I hope so anyway!

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Paula April 13, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Betty, it you can get a 2-qt Pyrex batter bowl in there (or something similar), you can do it. Your times might be different but it won’t be hard to figure out. pr

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Betty @ scrambled hen fruit April 13, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Thanks Paula!

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Vicki V April 13, 2011 at 9:10 pm

What a gorgeous pie!! I will definitely be trying this filling in the microwave. I have made chocolate pudding in the micro; it sounds similar. My guess for the secret ingredient in the pie crust is…vinegar?

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Paula April 13, 2011 at 10:35 pm

That is a very good guess but no. The secret ingredient is slightly acid however, like the vinega,r and does contribute tenderness in much the same way.

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Gary April 14, 2011 at 7:08 am

Hmmmmm……Now I want the crust recipe. NOW!!!!! :-)

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Peggy Helmick April 14, 2011 at 8:17 am

Thank you so much for this idea on the cream pie. Our very favorite is coconut so I can’t wait to try this. You have taught me so much while I have been following your blog and I am almost 73 yrs old. I love to cook and you are making it more fun. Can’t wait to see the pie crust. Blessing to you today!

Peggy

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TheKitchenWitch April 14, 2011 at 8:31 am

The microwave, huh? Who knew! That’s awesome! And that’s my biggest beef with banana cream pie–who can eat a pie in a day?

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Lorraine April 14, 2011 at 8:51 am

Good morning, Paula!

This looks and sounds amazing. I look forward to trying it! I will let you know when I do.

Guess what is in my oven right now… your Pizza Potatoes! I like this recipe for using leftover mashed potatoes.

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Paula April 14, 2011 at 11:34 am

Who knew!? Looks amazing.

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Aicardi April 15, 2011 at 2:27 am

Who knew!? Looks amazing.
Paula recently posted.Aicardi

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Megan April 16, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Custards are my favorite kind of pie. This is a perfect way to make during those hot days of Summer. Love it!

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Meal Plan Mom (Brenda) April 22, 2011 at 10:15 pm

This looks terrific and I love how quick and easy it is. I’m adding it to my “to-try” list. And I remember taking those microwave cooking classes with my parents. Yes, they brought along my sister and I to the classes…we were one of the first to have a microwave! Yahoo! :-)

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Sarah May 22, 2011 at 10:04 am

I Stumbled! on your site and I am SO glad I did. This looks so unbelievably delicious! You’ve convinced me. I’ve been holding off on getting a microwave but I think I have to get one. if only to make this – and if it is as good as it looks, make it over and over again! Thank you for sharing!

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Suzanne July 1, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Hi Paula, I’m making this pie tonight and I can’t wait. You gave me the courage to try my chocolate silk pie in the microwave and its wonderful and so much easier. I’ll be posting it sometime soon! Have a great holiday weekend!

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RaeMarie Blaha October 13, 2012 at 11:55 am

I am doing a cooking demo in December “This is not your Mom’s Christmas Dinner”. This will fit very well in this theam and it’s in the filling is made in the microwave. I will not be using the traditional crust, using a cram-cracker bottom, doesn’t need to turn on the over. I will be using the signal serving size for party. Nice change from the traditional, no cutting needed. Wish me luck, will let you know how it turns out.

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Paula October 13, 2012 at 8:30 pm

RaeMarie,
I love the title of your demo. Hope it goes well. Perhaps Food Network will hear about it and give you a call. :-)

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Yuklan December 21, 2013 at 6:44 pm

How do you keep the eggs from scrambling, as the pudding cooks in microwave, as all ingrediants are combined in the blender ? this is the thing that makes me a bit wary of this super fast & easy recipe, also using this microwave cooking method does the microwave get hot enough to kill salmonella in the raw eggs? is their any way to temper the eggs, and still use
this method? thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

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Paula December 21, 2013 at 10:16 pm

You definitely do not have to worry about salmonella. The mixture will simmer, almost boil. The eggs will not curdle or break because the whole mixture has been thoroughly blended before it is cooked. I have been making this fabulous cream filling for nearly 30 years and it works every time. All I can say is to try it. The secret is to blend well and then stir the mixture frequently as it cooks in the microwave. Microwaves can vary wildly so yours may take more or less time than specified. Cook it until it gets thick no matter how long it takes.

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