baking, bananas, banoffee, biscuits, British, crust, dulce de leche, easy, recipe, whipped cream
So here I go from posting about pizza made with local strawberries to a dessert made with biscuits from over 4000 miles away. I made this pie two weeks ago for Easter and for some reason have been struggling to write about it ever since. Was it gross? No, quite the opposite! Was it complicated to make? No way! Do I want to keep it all to myself? Well, it’s not like I made it up…
Basically, I wanted to address my Anglophilia along with this pie since it’s partly my preoccupation with the British that led me to the recipe. It’s just that I have so much to say about the subject (Doctor Who! castles! moors! Jane Austen! Radiohead! Benedict Cumberbatch! tea! Hot Fuzz! the BBC! Harry Potter! accents! humo(u)r! Irn Bru! Monty Python! etc.), but not in a very coherent way. Indecision and procrastination, I shake my fist at you!
Ironically, I’ve never been to the UK even though I have a small handful of friends scattered throughout, from London to Glasgow. Whenever I do go, I’m making a beeline to the Royal Albert Hall for a photo op. It’s a name thing that makes me feel like we’re related.
If you’re unfamiliar with banoffee pie, chances are that you’ve heard of it before, but maybe without realizing it. In Love Actually (yes, I love it), it’s the kind of pie that Juliet (Keira Knightley) offers to Mark (Andrew Lincoln) as a bit of a bribe to get him to show her the video that he took of her wedding.
It features one of my favorite combinations: bananas and caramel. That’s right – those cheeky Brits named it by combining ‘banana’ and ‘toffee’. Oh, how I love a good portmanteau! If I had a food version of a soul mate, I think this would be it.
It’s so simple to make too, and could almost fall into the no-bake category, though I baked the dulce de leche and the crust. By the way, there’s a story of how this pie evolved in 1972 and the chef responsible claims to hate biscuit crumb crusts. I happen to prefer them with creamy pies which is why I made one!
Banoffee (Banoffi) Pie
If you want to make a pie more true to the original, you can find the recipe here. Aside from making a traditional pie crust, the main differences are that he pours the toffee into the crust first, then arranges lengthwise-sliced bananas over it, and whips instant espresso into the cream. My family isn’t into coffee like I am, so I just dusted cocoa powder on top.
3 bananas, peeled and sliced into coins
dulce de leche*
optional: cocoa powder or instant espresso for dusting
Layer the bananas in the crust. Evenly pour the dulce de leche over the bananas, smoothing around if needed. Spread whipped cream over the top, then dust with cocoa powder or instant espresso. Refrigerate for an hour before serving.
To make the crust:
1 package Hobnobs or digestives
1 stick butter, melted (I used unsalted, then added a few pinches of salt)
Preheat oven to 350F. In a food processor, pulse the Hobnobs into crumbs. Pour in the melted butter, then pulse until incorporated. The mixture should resemble sand. Press into the bottom and sides of a pie dish, then bake for about 15 minutes. The crust will puff up while baking but will settle back down as it cools. Let cool completely.
To make the toffee/dulce de leche:
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 425F. Pour the condensed milk into a pie plate or other similar-sized, oven-safe dish and cover with foil. Set this dish in a larger one or roasting pan. Pour water in the larger dish/pan until it reaches halfway up the smaller dish. Bake for 45 minutes, replenish the water, then bake for another 45 minutes, or until the condensed milk has turned a toffee color. Let cool, then refrigerate.
Alternately, you can boil cans of sweetened condensed milk! If that sounds scary, see another method here.
To make the whipped cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
splash of vanilla
In a mixer with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a hand mixer (or even with a whisk and elbow grease), beat the cream on high. When it starts getting lighter, add the sugar and vanilla. Continue beating until soft peaks form.
I assembled the pie right after we ate Easter lunch, so it only had about 20 minutes in the fridge. This means it didn’t get to set all the way which is why there aren’t any photos of pretty pie slices. Mess Fest 2012. Pretty or not, this pie was addictive and was well-received by the fam!
please tell me you bought a can of dulce de leche at Fiesta and didn’t bake condensed milk. :) Also, why no Downtown Abbey reference?
Paula Kelly-Bourque (@VanillaBeanBake) said:
Great story about this pie. Interesting that the bananas were not in his original recipe. Your pictures are much more appealing that the ones shown in the story link however and your version looks amazing!
Ginny – HAHA. I did go to Fiesta and had a can of dulce de leche in my hand…but then I put it down and went for sweetened condensed milk. Guess it seemed too easy! And if you can believe it, I still haven’t seen Downton Abbey! It’s on the list…
Paula – Bananas were in his original recipe, but it was based on a pie that didn’t. And thanks!
Now I want to eat this pie while watching Love Actually!
Blimey, are those biccies nobbly? I have moments of British infatuation on a near-daily basis; often, I hear random accented voices saying silly British things somewhere off on the left side of my brain:P
You’ve got to get to the UK! Especially to visit the smaller villages, it’s really quite wonderful. My life dream is to move to the British countryside and become a sheep farmer with a sheep dog, and know people that remind me of the James Harriot books. A pipe dream, I know:)
Healthy cooking blog said:
Thanks to Brit for naming this pie. I am glad you are using granulated sugar then refined one. Good healthy recipe. Thx.
I need to make a banofee mini!
One of our irreconcilable differences is bananas. I dig them. She is wrong. ;’)
I drooled my way through that entire post. It looks so so amazing
Julie – Fantastic idea!
Emma – Every time I actually try to do a British accent, it sounds like cockney. Then again, I’m not even that good at faking a Texas accent! The rural parts of NZ were my favorite, so I can imagine loving the same in the UK. :)
Healthy Cooking Blog – Bananas have potassium and those are oaty biscuits in the crust…yes, I can justify this as healthy! :)
Jill – Do it! When you made crepes for V-Day last year, I made a banoffee filling! mmm…
Wayne – More bananas for you! I go bananas for them.
Stephanie – Thanks! I want more…
missy maki said:
I have heard of this pie – it looks SO good! YUMMY!
Congrats on your top 9! This looks divine!
I had this dessert the first time on my Honeymoon on the island of Menocra Spain a couple years ago…lots of brits there….I had never heard of it but the name drew me in and I asked my hubby what the heck is that and he said, you gotta try it. I was hooked. I now make a more adult version – I make individual servings as that is how it was presented to me but I use oreo cookies (throw them whole in the blender to pulverize them) as my crust, and kahlua in my whip cream. Saw it made this way on Chucks Day Off / Food Network.
Congrats on your Top 9!! Banoffee Pie always make smile because it reminds me of high school, it was my best friend’s and mine favoriteeee! We would order it all the time at one of our little local restaurants, yum!
Food Stories said:
Congratulations on your foodbuzz top 9, today!
Congratulations on Top9! Your pie is out-of-this-world delicious!
Missy Maki – I’ve been wanting to make it for awhile, and it’s so easy!
juanitascocina – Thanks!
Conniegirl – Wow, that sounds like an awesome version! I’ll need to try that.
Kristina – I think I would have done the same if I were you! Now I think I need to make up for lost time with this pie!
Food Stories – Thanks, it was a nice surprise this morning!
crunchycreamysweet – And it can be described exactly by your blog name! :)
Living in England has made me a banoffee lover… thanks for sharing this recipe! Now I am eager to try to make it on my own!
Debbi Simms said:
Sadly the pub where the pie was created has just closed down
Vindaloo Tiramisu said:
Hi Jessica, I made a version of this pie in 2005 from a recipe in the sadly now defunct Gourmet Magazine. It was fabulously rich and sweet (toothrattlingly so) but it disappeared fast. Have been thinking about making it again. Here’s the recipe I used: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Banoffee-Pie-231392
leah lucille Freeman said:
Do you ever edit?