I actually wrote about banoffee pie in one of my very first posts, but I'm resistant to link to it because it's like showing you my ninth grade yearbook photo—awkward braces and acne and all. It's all very amateur, evidenced in that I even used a can of pre-made Carnation caramel because I was terrified to do it the "real" way. But look at me now! I totally boiled a can of condensed milk for over three hours in the oven and it didn't explode! Gee whiz, where's my ribbon?
I'm proud to say that I had no idea what banoffee pie was a year ago and now it's one of the few that I can make blindfolded. I'm also proud to say that, where toffee used to induce gag reflexes, I can now more than tolerate it, which means I'm more like my father than I previously thought. But what I really love about it, is that to me, it's my induction into the boyfriend's family. They're British after all and take banoffee pie very seriously. Along with trifle and sticky pudding, every woman has a recipe in her repertoire. Here, you mention it and people go, "Banof-whaaa?" Come on guys, do we always have to be late to everything? The industrial revolution, the abolition of slavery, the Beatles, now this.
We celebrated the beau's birthday two weeks ago and for his "cake", he requested the beast. It was piled with cream, poked with candles, and inhaled on the spot. We had friends over so don't worry, only half of it was consumed by yours truly. And then, on the heels of that debauchery, I made a whole separate one for my nana right out of the hospital, then was forced to take it upon myself to rid of it after being told she couldn't have sugar. Something you could have brought to my attention yesterday but alright alright, I'll take it.
Which brings me to warning you that it's one of those desserts that you will gorge on fiendishly, whipped cream all over your face, while yelling "I'm gonna be sick!" Yet you just keep taking bites anyway. I don't think I'll make another anytime soon (groan) but from here on out, I'm decidedly certain that I have this recipe down. And there are strict guidelines on three things: the crust must be digestive biscuits only, the filling is best carmelized yourself (if you can get past the fear), and the whipped cream needs no additives. It's all so sweet on its own that you don't want to tempt a diabetic seizure if you don't have to.
I've also decided that I will be adding this pie to the line-up of Thanksgiving desserts, every year, forevermore. There should always be a pumpkin, an apple, a pecan, and a cream-something pie. This pie is the missing link that will knock everyone's socks off and make your holiday that much more memorable, if you're the type that likes incessant compliments and praise. Those Brits sure are.
Banoffee Pie, The "Real" Way
1 14-oz. package digestive biscuits
8 tablespoons butter, softened
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
3 large bananas
1 1/2 cups heaving whipping cream
1. To carmelize the toffee, place UNOPENED condensed milk can in a roasting pan filled halfway with water, bringing the water line almost to the top of the can. Bake at 300 degrees F for 3-4 hours, adding water to the pan every hour (if the water gets too low or evaporates, the can will explode!). Before opening the can, let it cool in the oven with heat off or run it under cold water, then open and pour toffee into a bowl. Chill in fridge for at least an hour.
*Update to Step #1: I learned a new, faster way to carmelize! You can immerse the can in a big pot on the stove, over medium heat for 2 hours. Much easier and much faster! Just remember to keep the water above the can and the lid of the pot on.
2. Process the digestive biscuits in a food processor until crumb-like. Mix crumbs with softened butter and press mixture into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes.
3. Once the crust is cooled, pour toffee filling inside and spread evenly. Slice the bananas and layer on top of filling. Whip the cream and layer on top of filling and bananas. Chill in the fridge. To serve, sprinkle with chocolate curls or a dust of cocoa powder.