Banoffee Pie

When I was in London for a conference a couple of years ago (oh the days….), I kept seeing something called banoffee pie on desert menus.

I didn’t pay much attention to the offering mostly because in my head, banoffee translated into banana+coffee.  Weird.

But then over the holidays during a rewatching of Love Actually, my interest was piqued when the Juliet character shows up at Mark’s (who will always be Rick in my head) house with a faux peace offering of banoffee pie.

Fine I thought, I guess I’ll see what all the fuss is about.  First things first, banofee= bananas+toffee, a much more palatable notion than bananas+coffee.  Usually the crust is made from digestive biscuits or graham crackers.  The bake shell is then filled with dulce de leche.  You can do store bought but making your own is even easier (recipe included below).

Then the creamy caramel is topped with a layer of sliced bananas and the whole thing is crowned with a cloud of whipped cream (in this case, laced with espresso…so I guess this really is bananas+coffee after all).

I was 100% ready to not like this.  I was 100% ready to proclaim it cloying and too rich.  I was 100% ready to stop eating it as soon as I could find something wrong with it.

Alas, I was 100% wrong.  Banoffee pie is 100% delicious.  The whole is aggressively better than the sum of its parts.  Somehow the dulce de leche and bananas sort of melt together while the crust has just enough salt to cut through the sweetness.  Really, you should make this.

The scene.

Banoffee Pie

makes a 9-10 inch pie

Ingredients

for the dulce de leche

  • 12 ounce jarred sauce or, make your own (it’s very easy and cheap).  If making your own, you’ll need a 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk

for the crust

  • 1 1/2 C finely ground graham crackers (graham cracker recipe)
  • 1/3 C granulated sugar
  • 5 TBS melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

for the bananas and whipped cream

  • 3-4 just ripe bananas
  • 1 C heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/4 TBS graduated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp instant espresso granules
  • Chocolate shavings

Directions

  1. If you are making your own dulce de leche.  Remove the label from the can.  Submerge completely into a pot of water.  Boil for about three hours making sure to top-off the water when it dips below the level of the can.  Allow to cool completely before using.  You can–and probably should–do this the day before.
  2. For the crust.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine graham crumbs, sugar, salt and melted butter.  Press crumb mixture into a pie tin, gently coaxing the sandy mixture up the sides of the pan.  I like to use a measuring cup to press the crumbs.  Bake for about 15 minutes, until crumbs are set into a crust.  Allow to cool completely.
  3. Using an offset spatula, spread dulce de leche evenly into the bottom of the pie.
  4. Slice bananas, one by one as you go and arranged slices tightly on top of the dulce de leche. Dulce de leche will be thick but press bananas into the caramel just a bit.
  5. Pour cold whipping cream into a medium bowl.  Add vanilla.  With a hand mixer, beat cream until frothy.  With the mixer still running, slowly add in sugar, espresso and salt.  Whip until cream forms soft peaks that hold their form.
  6. Spread or pipe whipped cream across top of bananas.  Top with chocolate shavings.  Keep in fridge.

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