Thursday, January 17, 2013

Banoffee Pie

Our Sunday nights have been a little brighter these past two weeks with the return of Downton Abbey. Mike and I were late to the game with this show and last winter we spent our evenings catching-up (binging, would actually be more accurate) on the first two seasons, complete with gin and tonics in hand.  We were both even a little depressed for a few days once we finished season two - such a long wait ahead of us!  The third season has already been so much fun to watch, with plenty of drama, zippy one-liners, and Mary's wedding.  And can we talk about poor Edith?  I couldn't stop crying for her last week! What a nightmare!  

As much fun as the drama is upstairs, I am equally, if not more so, drawn to the personalities of those downstairs, which is probably because I have no traceable line of royalty in my English ancestors (I'll continue to hold out hope for the Scottish side).  Unlike the formal, massive dinner table upstairs, every time they show the servants eating dinner or enjoying a cup of tea, I just want to pull up a chair and sit around their long communal table.  And I imagine Banoffee Pie, an old English dessert layered with gooey toffee, ripe banana slices, and whipped cream, would be something happily shared among the servants on a rainy evening with a big pot of tea.  


Adapted from Gail Simmons for My Last Supper
Makes 1 9-inch pie

This recipe calls for making your own toffee, but you can easily substitute a good-quality store bought version to reduce the preparation time.  Better yet, make your own dulce de leche on a lazy afternoon and keep the cans stocked so you can whip this dessert up on even the shortest of notice.

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
8 ounces chocolate wafer cookies, broken into pieces
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch of table salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 large bananas
1 pint heavy cream

  • Remove the labels from the can of sweetened condensed milk and place on the bottom of a large stockpot.  Fill the pot with water, completely covering the can, then cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat.  When the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and boil for 3 hours, keeping the pot covered.  Be sure to frequently check the water level: the can should be covered by water at all times and the pot should never be allowed to boil dry, otherwise the can may explode.  Remove the can from the water and allow to cool completely at room temperature before opening.

  • In a food processor, pulse the cookies until fine; transfer to a bowl and whisk in the sugar and salt.  Add the melted butter and stir until coated.  Press the crumbs over the bottom of the pie plate and up the sides.  Refrigerate the crust until firm, about 30 minutes.

  • When the crust is chilled, remove from the refrigerator and spread the toffee over the base of the pie crust. Peel and slice the bananas into 1/4-inch thick rounds, then arrange on top of the toffee.

  • In a large mixing bowl, whip the cream until it holds barley stiff peaks.  Spoon the whipped cream evenly over the bananas.  Serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. You two have me addicted to Downton Abbey, and I have Mum and Dad, Uncle Paul and Aunt Gwen and Ryan and Nan.
    I am working on Uncle David and Aunt Jan.
    I wait all week for Sunday and this week we will be half way through the new season. Oh dread


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