Thursday, January 19, 2012

Blogiversary Banoffee Pie!

Wow. I actually did it. I made it to my one year blogiversary! Yay me!

To be honest, I wasn't sure if I would. As much as I hate to admit it, I'm a fad chaser. My husband often calls me 'Faddington Bear' whenever I embark on the newest fad quest. While I do enjoy a new, shiny toy every now and again, I get bored very quickly with it and my fad becomes a fade.

Since I love celebrations of every sort, I decided to throw one for myself. I settled on the delightful British favorite, Banoffee Pie. I personally never make it, but figured now's a good a time as any. Whenever we visit the UK, every home has it prepared for our arrival...well, that or Sticky Toffee Pudding, along with one of my most favorite British confections, Dolly Mixtures. It always makes me feel SUPER special!

All in all, this pie is so worth the effort. 

Channeling my inner Mary Katherine Gallagher, "My feelings for this pie would best be expressed in the musical style of Gwen Stefani....

"This sh*% is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S!"

Really. It is. 

BANOFFEE (or Banoffi) PIE
Recipe adapted from my UK 'Mama', Angela

1 can sweetened condensed milk, caramelized* OR 1 jar Dulce de Leche
8 ounces (1 cup) digestive biscuits - if you can't find them, use shortbread or Rich Tea cookies. You can use graham crackers, but I think it loses its British authenticity if you do.  
4 ounces (½ cup) butter, melted 
4 large bananas - perfectly ripe, but just slightly green work best here!

Coffee Whipped Cream:
2½ cups heavy cream (35% fat)
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
OPTIONAL: 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules (dissolved in 1 cup heavy cream before whipping)

Chocolate shavings - To make pretty chocolate curls, chill chocolate and use a vegetable peeler to shave chocolate.

*To properly caramelize sweetened condensed milk, open can and pour into oven safe bowl. Tightly cover with foil and bake at 425ºF for 1 hour. 

However, because I am not a safe Sally, I use the stove top method *gasp*. If you choose to use the stove top method, please read carefully:  

Remove label and set sweetened condensed milk can in a saucepan. BE SURE THE CAN IS COMPLETELY SUBMERGED UNDERWATER! I cannot, cannot, cannot stress this enough! I don't want to scare you, but it's easily done where it can be forgotten and the water will evaporate from the pan. As long as you keep the can submerged, you shouldn't have any problems!

Bring to a simmer over medium heat; reduce heat to low and simmer, adding water as needed, about 3 hours. Remove can from pan; let cool completely. If you open can too soon, you can get badly burned, not to mention the mess! Think of a soda can under pressure once vigorously shaken! 

This is what you will get once cooked and cooled:

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Pulverize biscuits in food processor. Toss them into a bowl and add melted butter. Mix until incorporated.

Place crumbs into a 9-inch pie plate or fluted tart pan (which I used) and spread evenly over bottom. Use a flat-bottomed cup to press crumbs evenly over bottom of pan and up the sides.

Bake until fragrant, about 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

Using mixer or whisk, whip cream, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy and thick.

To assemble pie, spread cooled sweetened condensed milk or dulce de leche over pie bottom, top with bananas, and finish with whipped cream.

Sprinkle with chocolate curls and refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be made several hours before serving. 

This pie is like revenge - Best served cold. Not that I condone revenge.

Yields: One awesome pie. 

Happy Baking!

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