A tip of the baker’s cap to Modernemama from Beach House, who correctly identified yesterday’s mystery dessert as Banoffee Pie. Or is it Banoffi?
While standing in line at the coffee shop last week, I heard about this British dessert for the first time. As the Ancient Recorder of Obscure and Far-Fetched Sweets, I do not usually hear about desserts “for the first time.” So this was big.
Marilyn, to Foodie Barista Girl forced to Feign Interest in Marilyn’s Latest Projects: So, I’m thinking about making homemade dulce de leche. I love everything about it.
Barista Girl: Oh…well, if you’re making dulce de leche, you should definitely make Banoffee Pie.
BG: You’ve never had Banoffee Pie?
M: Tell me. Now.
BG: Well…it’s this thing where you do a graham cracker crust, with bananas, and pour the dulce de leche over the bananas…
M: (gripping counter) Oh my god.
BG: …and then top it with whipped cream. It’s British, with some chocolate on top…
M: * poof! *
Banoffee Pie – born at the equally well-named Hungry Monk Restaurant of East Sussex, it’s a freakishly decadent “pudding” that also goes by Banoffi and even Banoffy, and now seems ubiquitous in the UK, appearing everywhere from supermarkets to Pizza Hut. Like all beloved recipes, there’s healthy disagreement and multiple versions – I found cookie crusts, pastry crusts, top caramel, bottom caramel, and at least three spellings. It was reportedly a favorite of both Margaret Thatcher and Princess Diana, but what really grabbed me was the sound of “banoffee” – it’s a smiler, just say it. So let’s review: British pedigree, burnt sugar and sliced bananas? Call it whatever you like – but for the love of butterfat, get in there and make it.
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
10 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 oz square semisweet chocolate
1. Graham cracker crust
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Place graham cracker crumbs in a bowl, then add cinnamon and sugar, stirring to mix. Melt butter. Pour melted butter over crumb mixture, stirring with fork to combine. Use hands to finish mixing, until crumb mixture is thoroughly combined. Press evenly into 9″ pie plate, then bake on center rack for about 10 minutes, until crust appears dry. Set aside to cool.
Peel and slice bananas – not paper thin, but on the thinner side – and layer in cooled graham cracker crust. Press lightly with a spatula to flatten bananas together.
3. Dulce de leche (the “Toffee” in “Banoffee”)
There are several ways to make homemade dulce de leche – for the patient, traditional way – cooking the unopened can in a water bath – click here. I went with a more impatient method, a bit dicier but certainly quicker:
Scrape approximately 1 1/2 cans sweetened condensed milk (a bit more or less won’t hurt) into a medium-sized saucepan, preferably enameled or nonstick. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly and steadily, for about 20 minutes, or until it deepens to a golden-brown color. Use a wooden spoon or a heatproof spatula to stir and watch carefully, as mixture can burn quickly.
Have banana-filled pie crust ready nearby. When the condensed milk becomes thickened and golden-brown, remove it from the heat. Use the wooden spoon or heatproof spatula to scrape mixture out of pan, and pour over bananas while still warm. Spread dulce de leche around with a spoon or metal offset spatula to cover bananas completely, touching edge of crust. Refrigerate pie until filling is completely cool.
4. Whipped cream and serving
When filling is completely cool, make whipped cream. Using electric mixer, whip heavy cream with brown sugar, starting on medium and increasing in speed, whipping until beaters leave strong peaks in cream.
Using spatula, spread whipped cream over top of pie, creating swirls and peaks. Grate semisweet chocolate in a light, even sprinkle over top and refrigerate until set. Serve and enjoy!
Click me, I’m a printable recipe!