SWEET TOOTH ALERT!
I’ve been addicted to the idea of banoffee pie since a British acquaintance told me about it four years ago. I even included the treat in a scene in Where There Is Will.
My hunt for banoffee pie on a recent trip to England was a bust, so I decided if I wanted to taste the delicacy (or what I presumed would be a delicacy), I’d have to make it myself. So I did. Twice. And the pie received rave reviews and requests for the recipe.
I didn’t follow a particular recipe. Instead, I mixed and matched different pieces from several recipes. But I’ve written down what I did, with what I hope is enough precision to come up with a decent pie if you decide to give it a go.
And I highly recommend you decide to give it a go–especially if you like your sweets sweet.
Banoffee Pie—A British Treat
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 stick unsalted butter
10 ounces digestive biscuits
3 large bananas, sliced ¼ to ½ inch thick
1 ½ cups chilled heavy cream
1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
Notes: Digestive biscuits are a plain British cookie, similar to a graham cracker. Look for them in the international section of your grocery store. If you can’t find them, substitute graham crackers.
Make the toffee in advance because it takes time to cook and cool. I’ve done it up to a week in advance with no ill effects.
Make the toffee:
If you can easily remove the labels from the cans of sweetened condensed milk, do so. (Otherwise you should remove them from the pot as soon as they slip off the can.) Put cans in a large pot (I use an 8-quart) and cover with water. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and let boil for 3 hours. Keep checking to make sure the cans remain covered with water. If the water level goes too low, add more water. When the 3 hours are up, use tongs to remove the cans from the pot and let cool.
Make the crust:
Melt the butter.
Make crumbs out of the digestive biscuits or graham crackers. I use a food processor but a rolling pin works too.
Mix butter and crumbs.
Press into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan, tart pan, or springform pan.
Make the filling:
Spread the toffee over the crust.
Distribute banana slices over the toffee, leaving no gaps between them. You might not use all the slices, or you might need to slice part of another banana.
Make the cream:
Add the chilled cream, granulated sugar, and coffee powder to a large mixing bowl. Whip until firm peaks form. Spread over pie filling.
Chill pie until ready to serve. If you want to cover the pie, I suggest doing so before whipping the cream. Spread the banana slices with a little lemon juice and cover with waxed paper before putting on the cream. When ready to serve, whip the cream and spread over the filling.