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Banoffee Pie … well, sort of and other musings

Pie

11/19/08 – I served the pie from the recipe below and it was quite tasty … and runny!  So, I would not fold in the whipped cream.  I would just sort of smooth out the toffee and spread it with great care. 

But, the taste … spot on.  My family, once past the initial trepadation of a new dessert with a strange name, asked for seconds.  And, in one case, thirds.

Yum!


I registered for another semester of culinary school today.  I signed up for Cake Decorating I and II and Pastry Competition.  With my current schedule I will be going to school Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights.  I will not be getting home until 10:30 most nights.  I have not decided if I am happy with this choice, and I may drop the cake decorating classes before the semester starts.

I’m worried that between not getting enough sleep and not seeing my family I will burn out.  Fast.  We shall see what happens, but for now I’m a little afraid.


 My husband had his birthday yesterday (Yay him!!) and we had sushi for dinner at this little place we like.  Tonight we are celebrating with my family.  He asked me to make his bnirthday dessert.  It is something I have never made before, but something we enjoyed in England.  Banoffee pie.

I did some research and found there are tons of recpies for Banoffee pie which are all similar.  Some use a partry crust, some use a graham crust, some use a digestive crust, others are made with cookies.  After a frustrating search I found a recipe from the creator (or so he claims) of the Banoffee Pie and I decided to give it a go.

First, you make the banoffee toffee.  It is condensed milk that is cooked in the can until the sugars are caramalised.  Sounds easy, yes?  Well, look on the interwebs and you will read many different methods for making the toffee, and many dire warnings about exploding cans.  I used the method in the recipe and had no problems.  I placed the cans in a deep cast iron pot, covered with water and brought the whole thing to a simmer.  Once simmering I placed the lid on and put the whole thing in a 275 F oven for 3 1/2 hours.  Since I did it late I just flipped the oven off at the end of the cooking time and went to bed. 

The next morning I pulled the cans and opened one to see the results.  It was VERY thick, and the color of dark amber.  It tasted ok, but it tasted very much like milk and dark sugar.  Since I do not enjoy milk much I was not impressed, but as ALL the recipes I found called for this method to make the toffee I figured it was right.

Second, make a crust.  The creator says he only thinks a pastry crust is the appropriate crust for this pie.  I appreciate as the creator he would have that opinion but I decided chocolate was the way to go so I ground up some chocolate wafer cookies with butter and sugar and baked it at 350 F for 10 minutes.  I made a thick crust because that is always my favorite part of the pie. 

After the pie crust cooled I set to assembly. 

I said before the toffee was thick.  And so it was.  Knowing I would NEVER be able to spread this on a delicate chocolate wafer crust I lightened the toffee with a little whipped cream flavored with coffee and powdered sugar.  I know, you are saying, coffee?  In the recipe I used he calls for coffee in the topping … I just took that idea and went a step further. 

The resulting toffee was lighter in color, thinner, and still quite milkie. 

I spread a layer of toffee, covered that with two sliced bananas, and topped that with another layer of toffee.  At this point I put it into the fridge.  Tonight I am going to place a second layer of bananas and cover that with softly whipped cream flavored with coffee.

I have no idea, at this point, if the pie will even taste good.  I hope so.  The toffee did not send me into raptures, but I am hopeful that the addition of the bananas and cream will transform the flavor into the decadent dessert I had in England.

This is the link to the recipe I used.  He gives complete instructions for making the toffee and the preparation of the pie as he invented it.  Below you will see what changes I made.  It is not traditional, in fact it is quite different, but it is how I made it. 


Banoffee Pie – My Way

Crust
1 Package chocolate wafer cookies (Nabisco Brand is my fav.)
6 Tablespoons salted butter, soft
1/3 Cup White Sugar

Place the cookies in a food processor and process until the wafers are a fine crumb.  Add the sugar and butter and blend until all the crumbs are moist and the sugar is well combined.  Place the crumb mixture into a 9″ pie tin and press into the sides and bottom.  I use a measuring cup to pack the crumb tight.  Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool completely.

Filling
1 Can of banoffe toffee 
4 ripe bananas
1 Pint heavy whipping cream, divided
3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
2 teaspoons of instant coffee 
 
Place the toffee into the bowl of a mixer and with the paddle attachment blend until smooth.
In another bowl whip 1/3 cup of cream with 1 teaspoon of instant coffee and 1 tablespoons of powdered sugar.
Fold the cream into the toffee to lighten.

Spread a layer of the toffee (about 1/3 the toffee) on the bottom of the crust.  Slice two of the bananas and arrange the slices on the toffee mixture.  Top the bananas with remaining toffee mixture.  Top this layer with banana slices.
Whip the remaining cream with the instant coffee and the remaining powdered sugar.  Pile the cream over the bananas, making sure that the cream is spread the edges of the pie to seal the bananas.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

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