Banana Pudding Pie

Banana Pudding Pie

Before my wife Molly and I even started dating, we discovered we share a love for reading Carolina Country magazine, a monthly publication of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives. Since we married we’ve looked forward to receiving the latest magazine each month from our parents, who are members of a cooperative while we are not. We settle side by side into the couch and spend 30 minutes to an hour digesting the entire magazine.

Each magazine’s back page shares a set of recipes, many of which we’ve tried and saved in our personal collection. We recently read about this Banana Pudding Pie recipe in Carolina Country and knew we had to try it!

The buttery vanilla wafer crust, which we’ve tried on another pie or two, is a delicious take on the more common Graham cracker crust. The filling is rich and flavorful on top of the layer of bananas. And the whipped cream and crushed wafer topping sets this particular pie off right!

Banana pudding is a staple of American South desserts. When you take a pudding to a gathering, it can get quite messy as family members and friends dip into the dish and dig out servings. This pie is a nice way to control the mess and consolidate a serving into a slice. To take that a step further, we recently made this recipe and modified it to fit mini pies, one of which is pictured above.

As a #FoodieScore Pro Tip in that direction, just make the recipe with the quantities listed in the original, but use small pie tins instead of a full-size pie plate and divide your crust, filling and topping mixtures.

Any way you make it, this Banana Pudding Pie is delicious!


Banana Pudding Pie



2 cups crushed vanilla wafer cookies

6 tablespoons butter, melted

1/8 teaspoon salt


3 medium bananas, thinly sliced

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups milk

4 large egg yolks

4 tablespoons butter, cubed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Whipped cream

While vanilla wafer cookies

Crushed vanilla wafers for sprinkling



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together crushed vanilla wafer cookies, butter and salt. Press mixture into pie plate or mini pie tins to cover bottom and up sides. Bake until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to let cool.

2. Place sliced bananas on top of cooled crust(s). Set aside.

3. In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in milk and egg yolks until combined. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla.

4. Spoon filling mixture over bananas in crust(s). Let cool 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap directly on surface of filling and refrigerate until firm, about 2 to 3 hours.

5. Spread whipped cream atop filling and garnish with whole cookies around edges and crumbs on top.

Sweet & Salty Atlantic Beach Pie


Let’s just save the suspense on this one. This is the best lemon pie I’ve ever eaten.

Now that we’ve got that bite of bold honesty out of the way, let’s back it up with my qualifications for making the claim.

I’ve eaten a lot of lemon pie. My mom loves lemon pie. So did her dad. My wife Molly loves lemon pie, too. So does her dad. Infinite opportunities, by my count, have presented themselves to my mouth for lemon pie consumption.

We learned about Atlantic Beach Pie while visiting the fabulous small food city Chapel Hill, N.C. Locals tout the legendary and unique flavor of the Atlantic Beach Pie, made from a recipe always credited to Bill Smith, at local restaurant Crook’s Corner. (Why does he make it this way, and why is it called Atlantic Beach Pie? Here are your answers.)

No matter how much we tried, we couldn’t get the pie, and the opportunity to make our own at home, out of our heads. Then the recipe for Atlantic Beach Pie showed up in a copy of Carolina Country, a magazine we devour together each month it’s released by North Carolina’s energy cooperatives.

So we made it, just like Bill Smith does at Crook’s Corner. I don’t know if it stacks up to his or the pies served up in the restaurant, but the flavor and texture in ours were extraordinary. The filling was smooth, slightly tart and perfectly sweet. The crust was crackly, slightly salty and very buttery.

As if that wasn’t enough proof to support my argument that Atlantic Beach Pie is the best lemon pie, the popular Our State magazine included Atlantic Beach Pie in its February 2018 cover feature on The Legendary & Landmark Pies of North Carolina. And a slice of Bill Smith’s Crook’s Corner creation adorned the very cover of the edition.

Can you see by now that you must make this pie, no matter where you live but especially if you’re a North Carolinian? When you try it, let us know what you think! Is it the best lemon pie?

Here’s the recipe, with complete and praiseworthy credit to Bill Smith. (If you Google “Atlantic Beach Pie,” his name will be attached to most all of the search results anyways, and rightly so!)

Atlantic Beach Pie


1 ½ sleeves saltine crackers

1/3 to 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

3 tablespoons sugar

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup lemon or lime juice, or a mix of the two

Fresh whipped cream and coarse sea salt for garnish


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Crush the crackers finely, but not to dust. You can use a food processor or your hands.

3. Add the sugar, then knead in the butter until the crumbs hold together like dough.

4. Press into an 8-inch pie pan.

5. Chill for 15 minutes, then bake for 18 minutes or until the crust colors a little.

6. While the crust is cooling (it doesn’t need to be cold), beat the egg yolks into the milk, then beat in the citrus juice. It is important to completely combine these ingredients.

7. Pour into the pie crust and bake for 16 minutes, until the filling has set.

8. The pie needs to be completely cold to be sliced.

9. Serve with fresh whipped cream and a sprinkling of sea salt.