Thursday, March 3, 2011

Banoffee Pie

You know what sucks? Middle Eastern dictators.

What sucks in my own tiny corner of the universe are recipes for whole pies. Obviously this is not a problem even approaching the magnitude of what people in places such as Libya and Oman are experiencing...but then I write a food blog...and try to stay as far away from politics as possible.  Ahem, whole pies.  Unless I'm having a dinner party or it's Thanksgiving, I know good and well that it is love-handle suicide to make a whole pie. Self control, you say.  Sure, I have that.  Once a year. If I'm lucky.

So, I came up with what I think it a brilliant idea for all you like minded friends:  a mini version.  Okay, to be fair, it's not my idea.  Mini desserts abound.  But it is genius nonetheless.  You still get to enjoy an amazing treat without eating huge quantities of it nor, speaking from personal experience, increasing the size of aforementioned love handles.  And yes, it makes me feel better to say love handles instead of fat.  But forget that. On with the caramel, whipped cream, bananas, and chocolate!

I can't remember when I first heard of the English dessert, Banoffee Pie. There are as many varieties of this classic British pie as there are black tea.  I like it because the ingredients are basic and the taste is out of this world.  I almost made one version, which includes a great how-to video. Not having the energy to fight with hot-caramel-made-on-the-stove meets coldish-liquid though (the video calls for banana puree to be mixed into the caramel), I opted for my own adaptation. Have you seen what happens when you add anything to hot hot caramel?  You have to work lightning speed fast because it hardens instantaneously.  It's messy stuff.

The primary reason I wanted to make Banoffee Pie is because I needed an excuse to make my own dulce de Leche, or caramel.  All you do is take a 14oz. can of sweetened condensed milk, place it in a deep pot that you've lined with a wash cloth (to keep the can from rattling around), cover with lots of water (and a lid), and boil away...for hours.  Ample water is key because if the can at any point becomes unsubmerged, it will explode.  Boil on medium heat and set your timer to check on it every 20 or 30 minutes to make sure there is enough water.  I cooked mine for just over two hours, and you can see the beautiful color. However, cook an additional hour and you will get an even darker caramel.  Isn't it marvelous to have choices in life.

Banoffee Pie
Ingredients and instructions for one mini-tart  (it's really easy to increase the quantities and make additional tarts or one whole pie)

10 digestive biscuits (or graham cracker crumbs)
2T butter, melted
2T dark chocolate, melted
1/2 medium banana, sliced on the diagonal
2T dulce de Leche (made from sweetened condensed milk)
1/4c heavy whipping cream, whipped until soft peaks form
chocolate shavings for top of pie


Preheat oven to 350F/180C

1.  Crush biscuits until they form a fine powder.

2.  Combine melted butter and dark chocolate and stir biscuit crumbs into the wet mix.  Stir well.

3.  Place enough crumb mix into your small tart pan (you might have some extra left over) and shape into the pan.

4.  Bake tart crust for 6-8 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Using the back of a soup spoon, press the crust down into the pan (it will have risen during baking) so that you have a nice sunken bottom and high sides.  It might look sort of wet, but don't worry, that is the melted chocolate.

5.  Refrigerate crust for 10-15 minutes.

6.  Remove crust from refrigerator. Add the caramel to the bottom of the crust, smoothing it out.

7.  Place sliced bananas over the caramel layer.

8.  Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings/pieces.

No comments:

Post a Comment