Banoffee Pie – for Katie, and NYC.

So I haven’t blogged for a while, well, ages actually. But that’s what working 10 hour days, 6 days a week will do to a girl. (“Idolovebeingateacher, Idolovebeingateacher, Idolovebeingateacher”).

However, I have had a request from my friend Katie, who has just made it back to her apartment in New York, post hurricane Sandy, and is in desperate need of this banoffee pie recipe.
Now, bear in mind that banoffee pie got me, and the seven other girls I lived with at uni, through three years of minor traumas. Break ups, bad exam results, or sometimes even if it was just raining outside, would result in me rocking out a banoffee pie and we would sit on the living room floor with a spoon each and devour the lot, straight from the pie dish.
I’m not suggesting that these minor traumas were anything like the people of New York have had to deal with this week, but scoffing this pie is like putting spoonfuls of sunshine into your mouth, and if a couple of New Yorkers can get their chops around this, they are guaranteed to feel slightly better, and a whole lot fatter. NOM.

  • 200g digestive biscuits (Don’t know if you have these in America, but you should! If not you can use a Graham Cracker crumb)
  • 60g butter
  • One tin of condensed milk
  • 200ml double cream (I’m assuming you can get this? Do NOT buy that nasty ‘whip’ stuff we had at camp, urgh!)
  • 2 bananas
  • Dark chocolate (Ok, try to get the good stuff, not Hershey. How on earth did I survive in America?!)

Right, not that I’ve finished slagging off American food produce; we can begin with how to make the pie. 🙂

Crush up your biscuits. You can do this in a food processor, or in a sandwich bag using a rolling pin.
Melt the butter in a pan. Stir in the biscuits and the transfer the biscuit butter mixture to the bottom of a pie dish. Squish it down (I find it easiest to do this with a potato masher!) And then put it in the fridge to set.
Right, the next bit is making the toffee – listen carefully or this will end in disaster!!
You need to take your tin of condensed milk, put the whole thing, unopened in a pan, and then cover it with water. You are going to simmer this for two hours. It is very, very, very important that the tin is covered with water the whole time, otherwise it might explode. And that would be bad. A la – a tins of beans on the campfire, but in your kitchen, with molten toffee. (See the cautionary tale at the end of this post).

Right, so simmering with two hours, occasionally topping up the water in the pan. After two hours allow the water to cool enough to fish out your tin. I tend to cool it a little further under the tap at this point. You can then open your tin, be careful, some hot toffee may spurt out of the can (baking is dangerous kids!)

Spoon this mixture onto your biscuit base and place back in the fridge. Eat any toffee remaining from the tin, this is compulsory.
When the toffee has chilled, slice the bananas thickly and lay onto the toffee mixture.
Whisk your cream until it is standing in peaks and spoon on top of the bananas. Grate over a little chocolate. (For the Europeans among you, I usually just buy a Flake and then crumble it over the top.)

If you’re fancy you could probably slice it up. I have never tried this, as it is so good straight out of the dish.

Katie – I hope you enjoy your pie, and that things start getting back to normal for you as soon as possible.

Cautionary tale of exploding toffee

I went to Uni with a chap called Anthony. He was some kind of actual aristocrat. (That’s right; I was hanging out with proper posh people). And he dated one of the cheeky girls. And he was a very good cook. And very sweet. And only a little bit dopey.
When he lived in Halls of Residence in his first year, he decided to make banoffee pie. Winner. He set his toffee to boil. Then he forgot that he had done this, and went to the gym.
He arrived back at his halls of residence an hour later to find the fire alarms ringing and 1000+ students standing around outside. Upon enquiring about what was going on, a fellow student explained that there had been a suspected gas explosion. Ah, (and you have to say this bit in a posh voice) “Oh, bugger.”
The tin of toffee had boiled dry, and exploded. The cooker was dented, the lid of the tin was embedded in the ceiling, the walls were covered in rapidly cooling molten toffee (now a similar consistency to concrete) and the window in the kitchen door had blown out into the corridor.
Luckily, posh Anthony was well off enough to cover the damage and VERY luckily, no one had been in the kitchen in the time as they would have been covered in toffee that was a couple of hundred degrees hot by that point.
So, even if your apartment already has a hole in it, and you could potentially blame the explosion on hurricane Sandy – do not let the water boil dry in your pan, keep topping it up!!
From Britain, to America, with lots of love xxxx

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