A Quick, No-Bake Version of the Classic Dessert

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Banana cream pie is a classic treat with wide appeal, but making the traditional version from scratch can take hours of hands-on work in the kitchen. This just-as-tasty version requires no oven or stove time, so it's perfect for warm summer nights when you need a quick but impressive dessert to offer guests or bring to an event. Bonus: Kids can help with almost every part of the recipe!

Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • 2 (3.4-ounce) packages instant banana pudding
  • 2 cups milk, chilled
  • 2 to 3 just-ripe bananas

Tip

Three rectangular sheets of graham crackers will yield about 1/2 cup of crumbs. You can get the crumbs by blitzing the crackers in a food processor or placing them in a zip-top bag and crushing them with a rolling pin.

Directions:

  1. In a 9-inch pie pan, combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. With a fork, toss the crumbs and butter until the mixture is moist throughout and becomes the texture of wet sand.
  2. Using your fingers and the flat bottom of a drinking glass, press the crumb crust evenly into the bottom and sides of the pan. Place the finished crust in the refrigerator to chill.
  3. With an electric mixer, whip the chilled cream until it achieves stiff peaks. Reserve 1 cup of the whipped cream, and set the rest aside in the refrigerator to chill.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the instant banana pudding together with the milk. Fold 1 cup of the whipped cream into the banana pudding mixture.
  5. Use a knife to slice a banana or two into thin ovals. Place the ovals on the bottom of the prepared crumb crust. Reserve 1/2 banana for slicing and decorating the pie just before serving.
  6. Spoon the banana pudding mixture into the pie pan, on top of the banana slices. With a spatula, spread it evenly around the pan.
  7. Chill the pie for two hours or more before serving. When ready to eat, top the pie with the remaining whipped cream and banana slices.

Tip

Sliced bananas turn brown quickly, so wait until just before serving to top each wedge with a couple of fresh banana slices.

Recipe Guidelines

o Numbers: All numbers are figures, except in intro blurbs, follow regular WM text style.

o Ingredients:

§ Measurements: Do not abbreviate in ingredients list (3 tablespoons, 2 cups, etc.).

Fractions: 1 1/2 cups. 1/4 teaspoon.

§ Order

Number

Quantity or measurement (clove, sprig, lbs., oz.)

Type

Preparation

o Temperatures: Heat (never “preheat”) the oven 420F.

o Cook Time: Spell out “minutes.” (Cook Time | 8 minutes).

o Packages: 1 (28-ounce) can tomato puree)

o Dimensions: 9-by-13-inch pan; cut into 1-by-2-inch strips

o Microwave settings: Always lowercase (high power; microwave on high).

o Accents: No accents on entree and puree.

o Brands: Capitalize brands and trademarks when ingredient is essential to recipe (Tabasco sauce, Roquefort cheese), but generally avoid brand names (shortening, not Crisco. No-stick cooking spray, not Pam).

o Proper Nouns: Capitalize proper nouns or adjectives (Boston brown bread, Russian dressing, Swiss cheese).

o Salt

§ Savory recipes should call for kosher salt (1 teaspoon kosher salt).

§ Baked goods should call for salt (2 teaspoons salt).

§ Recipes that do not specify volume can simply call for salt and ground black pepper.

o Instructions: Begin sentences with equipment and technique, rather than ingredients. In a medium saucepan over low heat, whisk together the butter and sugar.