Friday, 23 August 2013

Banoffee Pie



Banana. Biscuit. Caramel. Cream. Chocolate. As good as it sounds.




I was surprised to learn last year when a German friend was visiting that banoffee pie (a combination of bananas and toffee) is a British thing (although, correct me if I'm wrong, please). I certainly don't think it's American. Which is surprising. It seems like an American thing to do. The German friend had never heard of it, and was baffled by this strange word on the dessert menu at a restaurant we went to. I tried my best to explain what it was and she ordered it, she loved it.




For a family meal today I was asked  jumped at the chance to make dessert. 'What shall I make?', I thought. I've recently combined all my recipes into one neat binder (take that, summer boredom!), and so I headed straight to the 'desserts' section, knowing I would come across something delicious and exciting. I was not wrong. The original recipe came from a 'Good Food' article, a recipe from the Hairy Bikers. Since I was making this pudding for a large family, I decided to double the quantities of everything and make it in a larger tin. Good call. A few hours later the pie was unveiled, sliced, then destroyed by my family. I think we all died and went to heaven. The word 'stunning' was thrown around. Fun to make and a dream to eat, I'd recommend this to anyone who loves bananas. Or Caramel. Or eating. But be warned, as pointed out by my cousin, it will 'shorten my life by a few days', and is definitely not for those on a diet. But it's so delicious it's (almost) totally worth it.






Banoffe Pie
Makes a large 12'' pie, but can easily be halved to fit a smaller pan. Serves 15.

Base:
600g chocolate hobnobs, or chocolate coated oaty biscuits
150g butter, melted

Filling:
230g butter
230g dark brown sugar
2 x 397g can sweetened condensed milk

Topping:
6-8 ripe bananas
700ml double cream
vanilla extract

1. Grease and line a loose bottomed cake tin. Blitz biscuits in a food processor or bash in a strong plastic bag with a rolling pin until you have fine crumbs.
2. Pour in the melted butter while the processor is going to incorporate all the butter evenly. Tip out the mixture into the prepared tin, and press firmly to compact. Take care to give an even coating, and make sure the crust is thick enough where the sides of the tin meet the base, and all the way up the sides themselves. Place the tin in the fridge to set for at least half an hour.
3. Melt the butter for the filling in a non stick saucepan. Once melted, add the sugar and heat gently until all the sugar is dissolved, and no oil floats to the top of the pan (see picture above). Add the condensed milk, stir, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 3 minutes until the mixture turns a deep caramel colour.
4. If using the whole recipe, pour 3/4 of the caramel into the set biscuit base. The remainder can be used to drizzle on top of the finished pie, or can be used in other desserts (recipes coming soon!) and kept in the fridge until you need it. If using the smaller half recipe, use all the caramel at once. If you really love toffee and want a really thick layer of in in your pie, go ahead and use it all, even if you're making the double quantity recipe. Return to the fridge to set for at least 2 hours.
5. Slice bananas into coins and pile them on top of the set toffee layer. Whip the cream and vanilla extract to soft peaks and spread over the bananas. Decorate with some grated white or milk chocolate. Leave in the tin until you are almost ready to serve, to decrease the chances of the dessert breaking. When you want to remove from the tin, run a knife around the inside edge of the tin a few times, making sure that the biscuit sides are free all the way round the tin. Place the tin on a can or jar of sauce, and gently push the sides of the tin down to remove it from the pie. Return to the fridge until you are ready to serve.

Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.

I mean, come on.

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