Banana Pudding Ice Cream Pie- It’s B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

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March 14, 2023.  Dear Kids– Happy Pi Day!  Of course, The Dad has to give you a pie recipe today and this one’s a beaut because it’s an ice cream pie with ice cream made solely and completely with frozen bananas- how cool (get it- frozen) is that?

I had heard of banana pudding before we moved south of the Mason Dixon Line, way back when, but I never experienced it until then.  In fact, our timeline in the south could have been defined by our banana pudding experiences- our first, a very homey rendition soon after we moved there at a friend’s welcome to the neighborhood party and our last from the leftovers of a fancified version (Pepperidge Farm Chessman Butter Cookies in place of the pedestrian vanilla wafers) from an Open House our realtor staged just before our moved back north- very far north, like to another country north.  Our absolute favorite banana pudding was somewhere in the middle of our time down there- a classic version- fresh from the kitchen of a funky restaurant in a nearby town we enjoyed as a Syracuse-Duke basketball game played on the many TVs overhead.  

I guess I was too lazy or too much of a Yankee to make banana pudding back then, but I did make a deconstructed version (again, very Yankee-ish) where I whipped a banana puree into softened vanilla ice cream, pressed it into a sheet pan and let it firm up a bit in the freezer- serving slices with whipped cream and crumbled vanilla wafers on top.

I haven’t had banana pudding since we left the south, but I think about it more than I should and, with Pi Day on the horizon a few weeks back, I got to thinking about how good a banana pudding ice cream pie would taste.  My thought was to make a vanilla wafer crust and fill it with the aforesaid banana puree and vanilla ice cream “pudding”, but then I had a flash on the “1 Ingredient Banana Ice Cream” that was all the rage not too long ago and wondered- “Hey, would that work in a pie?”.

Long story short (The Mom used to love saying that), it did!  So start slicing up and freezing those ripe to overripe sweet bananas that you can never seem to get to or just slice up and freeze a whole bunch of bananas and see just how amazing this pie tastes.  

Diet:  Vegetarian, Vegan Option

Prep Time: 30  minutes

Cook Time:  10 minutes

Servings: 8-10


Whipped Cream (5 minutes)

  • 1 cup heavy cream 
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vanilla Wafer Crust (20 minutes)

  • 8 ounces (about 60 cookies) vanilla wafer cookies
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cow or plant butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 Ingredient Banana Ice Cream (5 minutes)

  • 1.5-2 pounds sliced frozen banana slices (about 6-8 bananas worth)
  • 1/4 cup cow or plant milk, optional- which would make it 2 ingredient ice cream- I love that you’re counting and paying attention!


Yes, you would need more than 3 bananas for this recipe, but all the rest of my bananas were already frozen and not ready for a close up, Mr. Demille.


Play “Hollaback Girl” by Glen Stefani, and go B-A-N-A-N-A-S while you make this pie.  

Whipped Cream.

1. Food Processor Whipped Cream- Who Knew?  Add cream, powdered sugar and vanilla to work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until cream is whipped= 3-5 minutes.  Check every minute or so after a few minutes to scrape down bowl and see how it’s going.  Scrape whipped cream into a bowl with rubber spatula, cover and hold in fridge.  Keep processor bowl on hold for crust. 

Note- The pie can be made a few days ahead, so if not serving within 8 hours or so after making the crust and filling it with the ice cream, I would hold off on making the whipped cream until just before serving and make it in a chilled bowl with a whisk and not with the food processor.

Vanilla Wafer Crust.

1. That’s The Way The Cookie Crumbles.  Preheat oven, with middle rack, to 350°. No need to wipe out processor bowl, the cream will be fine in the crust.  Add wafers to processor and pulse several times, just a minute or so, until wafers look like like lush and inviting beach sand and not the fine sand you find in a golf course bunker.  Add sugar and give it a quick pulse or two to combine.  Add butter and do the same.

2. The Upper Crust.  Dump tasty crumbs into a 8” pie plate and keep processor bowl on hold in fridge for ice cream.  Use a spatula to spread crumbs around bottom and sides of pie plate.  Use a ladle style measuring cup to press crumbs into side of plate to form side crust, rotating until all sides are standing tall.  Press down to even out bottom of crust and if all goes well you’ll have a 1/3” or so thick even crust on the sides and bottom of the pie plate. 

Bake crust until golden brown and smelling of toasty butter- about 10 minutes- and cool completely- and I mean completely- on a rack, before filling. 

1 Ingredient Banana Ice Cream & Pie.

Note: Remove bananas from freezer about 5 minutes before you plan to process to warm a bit for easier churning.

1. The Miracle of 1 Ingredient Ice Cream.  No need to clean out the food processor- who will notice a few crumbs in the ice cream?- I mean the ice cream will be surrounded by crumbs.  Once crust is completely cool- and I mean completely- add bananas, and cow or plant milk if using, to processor bowl and give them a few minutes to warm up before starting to process, if you haven’t already.  If thawed enough, the bananas will start to churn (you should be able to remove and look through the feeder tube insert without stopping the machine)- and once churning, scrape down sides and toss slices every minute or so or when you don’t see any churning movement.  If the churning doesn’t start, don’t lose hope, just give it some more time, it will happen sooner or later.  Churn, scrape down and mix until you have a smooth ice cream- it really gets surprisingly smooth.

I will admit, these bananas look a bit rugged- most of them were over ripe and in the freezer for weeks, if not months.
But, look how nice everything looks all churned up!

2. Pi = Crust+Filling+Topping.  Spoon ice cream into cooled- and I mean cooled- crust and even out with rubber spatula.  You can serve right away, for a more soft serve experience- or cover and store in freezer for up to a few days for more of a hard serve experience.  

If eating right away, top entire pie or top to order with whipped cream-I prefer to top to order, so I can save covered leftovers in freezer and leave whipped cream in fridge so it keeps a contrasting soft texture to the firm, yet still creamy ice cream- you may need to revitalize the whipped cream with some brief whisking over time or even make new whipped cream if too much time passes. 

3. That’s The Way The Cookie Crumbles.  Serve slices of pie topped with crumbled wafers, slice almonds and/or salted caramel sauce.


Too Many Bananas For Banana Bread.  Let’s face it- we had a problem in our house when it came to bananas- people (not naming names, but if you keep reading you’ll find out it’s GM) would want them, but let most of them languish on the counter until no one would dare eat them out of hand.

Typically, as you know, I am not one to let food go to waste- the voice of Gramps shouting “There are people starving everywhere!”, haunting me anytime I saw any leftovers on the edge of spoiling in the house- even downing those most folks would have composted or tossed days earlier- earning me the nickname of “The Human Lab”. PS- I don’t recommend you try this for food safety reasons (The Mom asked me to add this)

Still, and even with all this baggage, I’m just not the biggest fan of fruit- although I do like blueberries and my go to out the door breakfast in college was a banana or two slathered in peanut butter. I just can’t make myself eat much fruit- especially fruit I don’t buy for myself and even if it was perfectly ripe. So once I block Gramps from my head, I have no problem tossing past their prime bananas, or other fruit, straight into the compost bucket.

That was until GM found out about the bananas and asked that I freeze them for banana bread.  Well, I just can’t say no to GM, but I also don’t particularly like banana bread, so I wasn’t planning on making it on a regular or semi regular basis and neither was anyone else. Sure, I would make some banana bread every once in a while- composting most of it after GM got her fix- but inevitably, most of the bananas that accumulated in a bulging freezer bag would end up rife with freezer burn and still end up in the compost heap- it just took three months or so to get there. 

Then it all changed in an instant thanks to the 1 Ingredient Ice Cream you see before you today! Now I am happy to see bananas withering away on the counter- catching them at prime sweetness, and slicing them to add to a freezer bag for this pie or just a quick dish of ice cream made with a hand blender. Our bananas have not seen the compost pile since. 

This bananas still have a few days to go to sweeten for my banana ice cream tastes. PS- A very quick survey found an 7” banana yields about 4 ounce of fruit when peeled.

The Banana Ice Cream. To be honest, I have to admit, I was very skeptical when I first saw a recipe for 1 Ingredient Banana Ice Cream- I think it was in the New York Times, complete with a comment from a kid who claimed that his parents are mad at him for breaking their blender when he made the ice cream.  The first time I made it, I was not into risking my countertop blender, so I took a shot with a stick blender and, after the frozen bananas thawed a bit, the mix got to churning the frozen bananas to a texture so smooth and silky I thought I was seeing things.  Then I dipped a spoon in and thought I was tasting things- almost as  luscious and rich tasting as HäagenDazs®. Perhaps my very low exceptions clouded my judgment, but I still stand firm that this one ingredient, very banana forward (of course, that’s all there is), ice cream is almost as good as the real thing. 

A few factors to consider when making the ice cream- 1.) Are you letting the bananas get sweet enough before freezing? To be sure, taste the bananas before freezing and taste the ice cream and if not as sweet as you like, add sweetner, like maple syrup, honey, sweet and condensed milk or simple syrup to taste. 2.) Are you good with brownish bananas/ice cream (the bananas used in this recipe and pictures above certainly had a brownish hue to them)? If not, don’t let your bananas get too brown before freezing (which may call for added sweetner) and don’t keep banana slices in the freezer for too long. Adding a bit of cow or plant milk can lighten the hue and you could always slice fresh bananas to cover and exposed brownish bananas on slices of pie. 3.) Is it too banana forward for your tastes? Try swapping in some softened cow or plant vanilla ice cream for some of the bananas in a ratio that works for you.

The Food Processor.  I’m not a fan of extra dishes and avoid using and cleaning the food processor whenever I can- that’s why I make pie dough with a pastry cutter instead of using the very popular food processor method.  Still, there are times when it makes sense to use a food processor and this recipe is a perfect example of such a time.  It’s a trifecta of processing- 1. The Whipped Cream  2.  The Crust and 3.  The Ice Cream!  Three uses for the price of one clean up.  Also, I am not cleaning the processor between courses, so keep in mind that there is a specific order to process the ingredients to achieve this- whipped cream first, then the crust and, finally, the bananas.  If you like to clean stuff, process in any order as you wish.

Food Processor Whipped Cream.  As long as I’m being honest, I’ll keep going- I never made whipped cream in a food processor before I tested this recipe and I probably wouldn’t ever again make whipped cream in a food processor unless I was making this recipe.  It takes a bit of finesse, since the fluffy stuff keeps to the sides and you need to stop, open and scrape down the sides from time to time to get a good consistency, but since you’re already using a food processor for the rest of the recipe, you might as well use if to make whipped cream and save on dishes. 

Don’t Have A Food Processor. As I’ve mentioned, the original recipe for 1 Ingredient Banana Ice Cream called for a high speed blender to process the frozen bananas.  I’ve used both a stick blender and food processor (which made the most sense in this recipe since you could use it for the crust and whipped cream as well) to excellent results- with less power (comes less responsibility?), you merely need to wait for the frozen bananas to warm a bit for best processing.  Also, alternatives to the food processor for the crushed wafers- a freezer bag and your bare hands; and for the whipped cream- a chilled bowl and whisk. The moral of the story- use what you have and prefer.

Can I Sandra Lee This?  Of course you kids probably don’t know who Sandra Lee is, but she hosted a Food Network show called “Semi-Homemade” (and dated former disgraced NY governor, Andrew Cuomo, before he was disgraced) where she combined store-bought ingredients with homemade ingredients- hence semi-homemade- to save time in the kitchen.  It’s up to you to decide if this strategy is worth it (it certainly had its detractors)- sometimes, if you choose wisely, Grasshopper, I think it is. Anyways, if you want to semi-homemake this recipe, sub in store bought, graham cracker pie crust, whipped cream and caramel sauce and all you have to do is process those frozen bananas- and if that’s all you’re doing, that’s only about 5 minutes before you have pie!

Deconstructed Anyone?  Looking to save even more time and money- just go with the basics: spoon ice cream into a small bowl or Mason jar and top with a dollop of whipped cream or Greek yogurt, crumbled vanilla wafers, sliced almonds and/or caramel sauce or not.

Veganize It.  Use plant butter in the crust; if using liquid in ice cream, use plant milk; and use vegan whipped cream or whipped coconut milk for a topping and no animals will be harmed in the making of this pie.

© 2023 All rights reserved.  Dad’s Dinner Diary

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