This is a blog featuring my personal stories of food, gardening, yachting, photography, travel and life.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Banoffi Pie

Our arrival on our daughter's and son-in-law's doorstep in Bristol, England on Boxing Day, found us celebrating Christmas a day late. We had brought our luggage filled with gifts for our wonderful English side of the family.

Kate and Nick had planned a "roast" for our afternoon dinner which included Nick's parents, his sister and her family. So by about 3:00 we were gathered around a lovely roast dinner including roasted lamb shanks, roasted potatoes, and an assortment of other delicious goodies. Dessert was a new one for us. Kate had made two Banoffi Pies. Two what???

The Banoffi Pie is a dessert created by the Hungry Monk Restaurant in East Sussex in 1972. Its most interesting ingredient is a can of sweetened condensed milk, but most curious is the way it is used. The can is boiled in water, unopened for 3 hours turning the milk into a thick caramelized toffee-like substance.

It was a big hit at dinner and as leftovers for the next several meals. I found this original recipe as published by the Hungry Monk Restaurant on-line. The restaurant decided to publish their recipe after finding so many knock-offs published that were just not good. This recipe should produce a delicious pudding for any special occasion.

One change that our daughter made was to use Hob Nobs, a kind of cookie also known as a digestive for the crust. She crushed the cookies like you would for a graham cracker crust, mixed it with melted butter and baked it a while. Or, you could put the pie together per the directions below. I thought a graham cracker crust would also work well, and I also thought maybe the chocolate covered digestives I love so much, would make a rich delicious crust.

Banoffi Pie Recipe

12 ounces uncooked shortcrust pastry
1.5 tins condensed milk (13.5 ounces each)
1.5 pounds firm bananas
375ml of whipping cream
Half a teaspoon powdered instant coffee
1 dessertspoon caster sugar
A little freshly ground coffee

Sprinkle powdered chocolate over the top, shave chocolate or sprinkle a little freshly ground coffee as suggested in the recipe.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 10 inch pie tin. Line this with the pastry thinly rolled out. Prick the base all over with a fork and bake blind until crisp. Allow to cool.

The secret of this delicious pudding lies in the condensed milk.
Immerse the cans unopened in a deep pan of boiling water. Cover and boil for 3 hours making sure that the pan does not boil dry *(see CAUTION).

Remove the tin from the water and allow to cool completely before opening. Inside you will find the soft toffee filling.

Whip the cream with the instant coffee and sugar until thick and smooth. Now spread the toffee over the base of the crust. Peel and halve the bananas lengthways and lay them on the toffee. Finally spoon or pipe on the cream and lightly sprinkle over the freshly ground coffee.

It is absolutely vital to top up the pan of boiling water frequently during the cooking of the cans. 3 hours is a long time and if they are allowed to boil dry the cans will explode causing a grave risk to life, limb and kitchen ceilings.

Hint - Banoffi is a marvellous "emergency" pudding once you have the toffee mixture in your store cupboard. We therefore suggest that you boil several cans at the same time as they keep unopened indefinitely.

Serves 8-10