ban(ana + t)offee pie

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I think what the English call “toffee” is what Americans call butterscotch or caramel sauce. This toffee recipe didn’t work; it was too watery. Since I only have one oven rack, I emptied both cans of condensed milk into one pie plate. Although the milk browned, it might not have been thick enough. How thick should toffee become? I wish the recipe had given a temperature or described the consistency. It still tasted pretty good though;  not too sweet with the interesting texture of the crunchy biscuit base, the sticky sweet toffee, and the smooth lightly sweet bananas with the crème fraîche. I also used a 9-inch springform pan instead of a pie plate. If you want a less thick biscuit crust use the pie plate.

Banoffee Pie (adapted from Nigella Lawson, Epicurious, Carnation)

400 grams digestive biscuits, processed in a food processor to a fine crumb
200 grams unsalted butter
2 tins (14 oz each) condensed milk
2 large ripe bananas or 4 medium
1 chocolate (for grating and decoration) or cocoa powder (for sprinkling), optional

Crème Fraîche
1 1/2 cups whipping cream or heavy cream
1/2 cup or one carton sour cream or plain Greek-style yogurt, optional
2 tablespoons sugar

Melt butter and add crushed biscuits, spread crumbs on the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate then chill for 1 hour. It will make a 1/4 inch deep crust all around.

Prepare to make the toffee. This can be made one day ahead.

Preheat oven to 425° F. Pour each can condensed milk into 9-inch pie plates. Cover tightly with aluminum foil; place in shallow pans (pan should be larger than pie plate). Fill pans with hot water to come halfway up the sides of the pie plate. Do not let water touch the foil cover. Bake in 25 minute increments checking to be sure the water doesn’t boil out. Altogether it should take about 2 hours, or until thick and light caramel-colored. It took me 1 hour and 40 minutes. Pour toffee into small mixer bowl; beat until smooth.

Put the toffee in the refrigerator to thicken and cool. When thoroughly cooled, spread the toffee over the biscuit base, smoothing it as close to the edge as possible.

Slice up ripe bananas and arrange them on top of the toffee.

Whip up the crème fraîche and spread on top of the banana slices. Alternatively, serve the whipped crème fraîche on the side.

To make crème fraîche, put all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until stiff peaks form. Because crème fraîche is tangy, leave out the sour cream/yogurt if you want sweetened whipped cream.

If desired, grate some chocolate or make some chocolate curls, or drizzle melted chocolate over the whipped crème fraîche. I sprinkled unsweetened cocoa on top. Chill at least 2 hours, then serve.


DSC05100I’m planning a birthday pie.

Specifically, Andy wants a banoffee pie. A portmanteau of banana and toffee, this is a British dessert that consists of a crushed cookie crust, a layer of toffee, a layer of banana, and a topping of whipped cream.

To make the toffee, I opened two cans of condensed milk and poured them out into a 9-inch pie plate. I covered the top tightly with foil and then I put the pie plate in a baking tray. I poured hot water in the tray so that it came halfway up the sides of the pie plate. Then I baked it at 425˚F/225˚C . I checked the toffee at 25 minute intervals to make sure the water did not boil out, and to add more hot water as needed. There was no need to open the foil cover because I could see the milk through the glass sides. As soon as it turned light golden brown, I took it out of the oven. It took 1 hour and 40 minutes to make this toffee.