Summer has finally arrived and it is barbecue season. Our friends Simon and Louisa (and their super cute son Finn) joined us this afternoon for a barbecue in the sunshine and to cheer Andy Murray on (well done Andy!) I was tempted to make Nigella’s Forgotten Pudding or her Strawberry Shortcakes but Mr Birdie requested banoffee pie so banoffee pie it was!

There are hundreds of recipes for banoffee pie on the Internet. After much perusing I opted for a Hairy Biker’s recipe from the BBC website which you can find here. I made some changes such as not putting banana in the cream on top and not putting any banana on the top. It is a simple recipe and it is super tasty. After a few baking disasters recently I was happy to get back on track and enjoy some baking success!

For the base and sides
75g butter
300g oaty biscuits (the recipe states chocolate oaty biscuits but I decided to use plain)

For the filling
115g butter
115g soft dark brown sugar (I didn’t have any and used light brown instead – it didn’t make any difference other than the colour of the caramel)
397g can sweetened condensed milk
For the topping
450ml double cream
4 ripe but firm medium bananas (I ended up using 3 large ones as I didn’t put any on the top or in the cream)
25g coarsely grated plain dark chocolate or chocolate curls

1) To make the base, melt the butter in a small pan. Break the biscuits into chunky pieces, put in a food processor and blend into crumbs. Alternatively you can put the biscuits into a strong food bag and bash with a rolling pin. Tip into a bowl and stir in the melted butter.
2) Tip the crumbs into the centre of a deep, 23cm/9in fluted loose-base tart tin and press firmly into the base and sides (I didn’t have one large enough so used a 23cm springform tin which worked just as well). Make sure the biscuit is evenly distributed and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes, or until set.
3)To make the filling, melt the butter in a medium non-stick saucepan and stir in the sugar. Cook over a low heat as the sugar dissolve, stirring constantly until the butter and sugar look smooth and no oil floats to the surface. Add the condensed milk and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly. Cook until the mixture turns a deep, creamy caramel brown (You need to be very paitent – the recipe states this will take three minutes but mine took a lot longer than this).
4) Pour the toffee gently onto the biscuit base and quickly smooth the surface. Leave to chill for at least one hour (I left mine overnight) before topping.
5) Just before serving, lightly whip the cream in a bowl. It should stand in soft peaks. Diagonally slice the bananas and scatter them over the toffee. (The recipe suggests putting half the bananas on top of the toffee and folding the rest into the cream but I decided against this).
6) Spoon the cream gently on top. If you want to decorate your pie with banana on top the recipe suggests slicing some banana and pouring lemon juice over it to stop it from going brown. You can then decorate the top with the lemony banana, poking it into the cream randomly. Finally, sprinkle the pie with grated chocolate or chocolate curls.
7) To serve cut into slices and enjoy!

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