2 1/2 cups vanilla wafers (plus 16-18 reserved wafers for edges)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 slightly underripe bananas (bright yellow, even a greenish stem is okay)
3/4 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Peanut Butter Whipped Cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons milk (skim, 2% or whole), or more as needed
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1. Adjust oven rack to upper middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a food processor, pulse vanilla wafers into coarse crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse a few times until incorporated.
3. Press into pie plate and up the sides a little bit. Bake until crust is golden brown, about 15 minutes.
1. Place 3 unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake (still at 325) until skins are completely black, about 20 minutes, turning half way through. Let cool for at least 5 minutes.
2. Whisk 1/2 cup of sugar, egg yolks and cornstarch in a medium bowl until smooth. Set aside.
3. Bring half and half, milk, remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and salt to a simmer over medium heat in a medium-sized saucepan.
4. Whisk 1/2 cup of simmering milk mixture into yolk mixture (whisk quickly and constantly to keep yolks from cooking). Whisk tempered yolk mixture into saucepan. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and large bubbles start to appear, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Remove pudding from heat and stir in butter and vanilla extract.
5. Strain pudding into a large bowl using a fine-mesh strainer or sieve. This removes any cooked eggs and other bits you don’t want in the pudding.
6. Peel and place roast bananas into food processor with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and process until smooth.
7. Stir processed bananas into strained pudding. Quarter and dice the last banana (not roasted) and stir into the pudding.
8. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of pudding and refrigerate until cool, at least 1 hour.
Peanut Butter Whipped Cream
1. Place butter and peanut butter into bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until combined.
2. Gradually add powdered sugar and add milk one tablespoon at a time if necessary. Beat for at least 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
3. Clean or replace the bowl and switch to whisk attachment. Pour in heavy whipping cream and beat on medium-high. After about 30 seconds, stream in sugar and vanilla. Whip mixture until stiff peaks form.
4. Combine 1/3 of whipped cream with peanut butter mixture. Slowly fold in remaining whipped cream in two additions, keeping the mixture light and fluffy.
1. Place whole vanilla wafers around the sides of the pie plate.
2. Pour cooled banana pudding mixture into pie crust and smooth to the edges. Spread whipped cream on top of the pudding and cover all the way to the edges of the pie plate. (You could also make the whipped cream later in time to add it just before serving, but chilling it all together is just fine, as well.)
3. Refrigerate for at least 6-8 hours before serving. (YES, you must do this. And yes, it is torture.)