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Makeshift Banana Cream Pie

Stop Food Waste Blog

Makeshift Banana Cream Pie

May 04, 2020
Use stale animal crackers and brown bananas for this banana cream pie recipe

Stop Food Waste Blog

Craving banana cream pie? This simple recipe saved the day and some ingredients from the compost bin!

Banana bread has been trending in recent weeks, but when I found my bananas going brown the other day, I was ready to move on to a more summery banana treat (and am running low on precious flour).

A friend and co-worker inspired me to make a banana cream pie as she had shared a photo of a beautiful key lime pie she made with her neighbor's home-grown key limes and some stale graham crackers from a distant camping trip. Though I didn't have any old graham crackers lying around, I decided to search my kitchen for other potential crust substitutes-- animal crackers!!! About 6 months ago, I bought a 2 foot tall plastic teddy bear full of animal crackers for my 2 year old. Needless to say, we are still working on emptying this teddy bear, though, with a wonderfully simple animal cracker pie crust recipe that used 4 cups of broken bits, we've made it down to the feet!

I ad-libbed this particular recipe to fit my needs to use up brown bananas as well as the stale animal crackers, but a quick search online or simple substitutions could help you use up whatever you have in your pantry or fridge as well.

Ingredients:

Crust
4 cups animal crackers (it's very much okay if they're stale and broken into pieces) -- feel free to substitute graham crackers or other types of biscuits here, though I might reduce the sugar if you're using something that is already very sweet
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (or so) melted butter
1 egg white

Filling
1 small packet of banana pudding, prepared ahead (the one I made used 2 cups of cold milk)
2 brown bananas  (I used 1 banana plus the leftover slices from my daughter's breakfast, which was probably a total of 1.5 bananas) 
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream


Directions:

Crust

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Pulse all of the dry ingredients for the crust in a food processor or blender until only crumbs remain
  • Add melted butter and pules again until the texture resembles wet sand
  • Dump contents into a pie pan, square baking dish, or whatever you plan to use. It should be about 8 inches
  • Use the back of a spoon to press the crumbly crust into the pan or dish, making sure to do the sides first. Try to compact the crust as much as possible, as this will ensure it won't break apart when you cut out slices
  • Mix egg white with a couple tablespoons of water and brush the crust with the wash
  • Bake the crust in the oven for about 15 minutes until it's golden brown
  • Pull out the crust and let it cool completely before adding the filling

Filling

  • Prepare banana pudding as instructed on the package and place it in the fridge to set while the pie crust is baking
  • Slice brown bananas as thick as you like, though perhaps keep them to under 1/2" for the sides of a pie pan so they don't stick out of the filling
  • Arrange the banana slices on top of the cooled pie crust
  • Spread banana pudding over the banana slices, making sure to not shift them too much in the process. Fill the pie pan to the top of the crust or as high as you'd like
  • Whip the heavy whipping cream and gently spread it over the pudding
  • Let the pie set for an hour or so in the fridge befor cutting (if you can wait that long!)

 

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