Banoffi Pie – Me Oh My!

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A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah. You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1 NIV

Banoffi Pie on Silver Whisperer

It’s Friday and I am on a dessert kick!  On our recent anniversary cruise, returning from one of my numerous trips to the dessert bar, I casually mentioned to our fellow dinner mates, have you ever heard of Banoffee Pie?  With lots of laughter and “yes” all around, our newly acquired friends from England said “it is one of the most popular desserts in England! Everyone eats Banoffee Pie!”

Invented at the Hungry Monk Restaurant, in East Sussex, England in 1972, Banoffi Pie (originally known as Banoffee Pie), is still as popular today as it was the

Hungry Monk Banoffi Pie

first time it appeared on the menu. There have been many imitations as far and wide as Russia and the United States — it was even rumored to be Mrs. Thatcher’s favorite pudding back in the day! Below is the original Banoffi Pie recipe as it first appeared in ‘The Deeper Secrets of the Hungry Monk’ in 1974.  (My recipe is changed to U.S. measurements.)


The most amazing thing I learned is how to turn sweetened condensed milk into beautiful gooey, creamy, CARAMEL!  The directions are very specific (to keep from maiming anyone in the kitchen) but if you follow them precisely, it is very easy to turn the milk into caramel.

We ate the first small piece of this pie last night.  I ate a second pie tonight.  Oh my gosh, I am in trouble — I LOVE this stuff!

The Original Hungry Monk Banoffi Pie
Serves 8 to 10 people

  • One pie crust
  • 1.5 tins condensed milk (13.5 ounces each)
  • 1.5 pounds firm bananas
  • 375ml of double cream (aka 13 ounces)
  • Half a teaspoon powdered instant coffee
  • 1 dessert spoon caster sugar (superfine sugar) (2 teaspoons)
  • A little freshly ground coffee

Preparation
Preheat the oven 400 degrees.
Lightly grease a 10in x 1.5 inch flan tin or a 9 inch pie plate.
Line this with the pastry thinly rolled out.
Prick the base all over with a fork and bake blind until crisp.
Allow to cool.

The secret of this delicious pudding lies in the condensed milk.  Immerse the cans unopened in a deep pan of boiling water.  Cover and boil for 3 hours making sure that the pan does not boil dry *(see CAUTION). I use my large canner pot so I can cover the tin cans with about 3 inches of water.  It works great!

Carefully remove the tins from the water and allow to cool completely before opening.  Inside you will find the soft toffee filling.  It’s a miracle:)

Method

Whip the cream with the instant coffee and sugar until thick and smooth.  (I put the instant coffee and the sugar in the whip cream and placed in the frig for about an hour first.  This gave the coffee and sugar a chance to dissolve into the cream.

Now spread the toffee over the base of the flan.


Peel and halve the bananas lengthways and lay them on the toffee.


Finally spoon or pipe on the cream and lightly sprinkle over the freshly ground coffee.

*CAUTION
It is absolutely vital to top up the pan of boiling water frequently during the cooking of the cans. 3 hours is a long time and if they are allowed to boil dry the cans will explode causing a grave risk to life, limb and kitchen ceilings.

Hint – Banoffi is a marvelous “emergency” pudding once you have the toffee mixture in your store cupboard. I therefore suggest that you boil several cans at the same time, as they keep unopened indefinitely!

Noteworthy
*  I couldn’t find any “superfine” sugar at the grocery store.  I realize the idea is to use a sugar that will dissolve quickly in the cream.  I used Stevia.  It is light and fluffy and did just fine.

Castor or caster sugar is the name of a very fine sugar in Britain, so named because the grains are small enough to fit though a sugar “caster” or sprinkler.  It is sold as “superfine” sugar in the United States.

Because of its fineness, it dissolves more quickly than regular white sugar, and so is especially useful in meringues and cold liquids. It is not as fine as confectioner’s sugar, which has been crushed mechanically (and generally mixed with a little starch to keep it from clumping).

If you don’t have any castor sugar on hand, you can make your own by grinding granulated sugar for a couple of minutes in a food processor (this also produces sugar dust, so let it settle for a few moments before opening the food processor).

What Is A Dessert Spoon?  A dessert spoon is a spoon which is designed specifically for eating dessert. In a traditional table setting, the dessert spoon appears above the plate, separated from the rest of the cutlery so that diners do not confuse it with one of the spoons used for a main course. The use of dessert spoons around the world varies greatly; in some areas, they are very common, while in other regions, the use of the dessert spoon is almost unheard of, with diners using forks or teaspoons for their desserts instead.

In terms of scale, a dessert spoon is usually similar to a soup spoon in size, although the bowl is ovoid, rather than round, with one end coming to a graceful point. The capacity of a dessert spoon is usually around two teaspoons, allowing people to fit a healthy portion of dessert into each spoonful; the large capacity is also useful when eating layered and complex desserts, as it ensures that a bit of every flavor can be gracefully fit into each bite.

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4 thoughts on “Banoffi Pie – Me Oh My!”

    1. Thanks Mary. I have searched the site and can’t find this tip, however, Eaglebrand does direct that the milk be placed in a pan and heated to caramelize. I haven’t ever had trouble heating the cans but I definitely think CAUTION is in order when heating the cans. If anyone is concerned then definitely heat the condensed milk in the oven or saucepan to turn it to caramel. Thanks so much for your comment!

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