Biscuit.. Cream.. Toffee.. Bananas (to make it ‘healthier’ ahahaha!).. What is not to like?
This classic English pie is something I’ve been whipping up for years. It’s simple & a number of people that don’t really like bananas have happily had second servings of this stuff. If you need to bring something that’s a crowd pleaser for a potluck or you want to make it a fancier looking dessert by portioning it into individual glasses, then go ahead!
The first time I really remember having banoffee was at a restaurant with my cousins in NW London. After all of us devouring what was on our plates, I recall the chef explaining the recipe and telling us it was pretty easy to do at home. We all took his word for it & since then I’ve been making this for numerous friends at home & afar. I even made it in Jingdezhen, China for a huge dinner we were having with some Chinese & American students that were visiting. It went down a storm and one young 20 something called Brad ended up finishing off what was left for breakfast. He had no regrets about this.
The recipe has of course been passed on to a number of people over the years & I know they’ve always had positive happy feedback. Plus, when I say you really don’t have to be a confident cook to make this, I am truly serious. My better half Félix can easily make it, as can my cousin Ashling.. both of whom would happily stay out of the kitchen if they had a choice! Boiling an unopened tin may seem a little odd, but it does turn the milk into caramel. However, if you’re at all worried just buy some already made dulce de leche instead. Now I’ll stop with the intro blurb, it’s time for you to go forth & eat pie.. banoffee pie.
There are probably a load of recipes out there that are the same or similar, but this is what I’ve been making for at least 15 years or so. Whatever recipe you decide to follow, I’m sure you won’t regret it!
1 tin of condensed milk (normally about 400g, depending on the brand)
200-250g digestive biscuits, crushed (or graham crackers if you’re in N.America)
75-125g unsalted butter
3 bananas (ripe but not overly brown)
300-400ml double cream (35% cream if you’re in Québec)
Optional: 1/2tsp cocoa or a few pieces of plain chocolate to grate
(FYI You will notice some of the measurements above are quite open as it depends on the brands you have available in your country. If for example you use a bit more or less biscuit because the packet is only 225g, it doesn’t change very much in terms of the end product. Use what you can, to your own budget & availability.)
- Put the UNOPENED tin of condensed milk into a saucepan, cover with water & boil/simmer for 3 hours. Top up the water & rotate the tin as necessary.
- Leave the tin to cool before opening! The toffee has a tendency to splurt out if you do it when it is still hot. Believe me, toffee burns are not nice!
- Melt the butter & mix well with the crushed biscuits. I try to avoid using too much butter as I like a crumbly base and want to keep the fat content down.. however, do add more if you want to make a more solid pie base.
- Using the back of a spoon, pat down the biscuit crumbs into the base of a 20cm pie dish (or divide it into about 8 dessert glasses)
- Mix & loosen the toffee with a spoon. Pour it into the centre of the biscuit base and then carefully spread it out to the edges.
- Thinly slice the bananas and completely cover the biscuit and toffee base.
- Whip the cream till peaks form and then dollop to cover the pie. Serve chilled!
- If you want, dust some cocoa powder or thinly grate some dark chocolate over the pie to decorate. For a different flavour you could also add a pinch of ginger to the biscuit base or use a nice oaty biscuit. Miam!
TIP: Boil a couple of tins at the same time. Scoop out the contents & store the toffee in a mason jar in the fridge till you need it or want some dulce de leche for your pancakes.. or ice cream.. or cakes, etc.