I often see people online asking what to do with a glut of bananas that are on the turn. A loaf cake is usually the standard response, however, when I think of banana desserts my mind wanders to the classic Banoffee Pie. I’ve been making this dish for many years and I’m not ashamed to say that it started with canned toffee sauce and cream in a spray can! When developing a recipe I start with the dominant flavour and then try to match additional flavours that compliment it. In this case, the humble banana pairs beautifully with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger which subsequently work well with rum and coconut. It took four attempts to get this pie the way I like it, but the beauty of this recipe is you can strip it back to it’s bare minimum, or go to town!
Watch this space for other ways to vamp up a Banoffee Pie...
For the base:
150g Digestive biscuits
150g Ginger biscuits
150g Unsalted butter – melted
The toffee sauce:
75g Dark brown or muscovado sugar
75g Unsalted butter
1 Can of sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp salt
1 tsp Vanilla extract
4 Ripe bananas
A grating of fresh nutmeg
The cream topping:
600ml Double cream
2 tsp Coconut flavouring (optional)
3-4 Heaped dessert spoons of icing sugar
5 Dessert spoons dark rum
1 tsp Vanilla extract
4-5 Dessert spoons desiccated coconut – toasted
Dark chocolate curls or grated chocolate.
I’ve developed this recipe and its quantities based around a 28cm (11”) loose bottomed fluted flan tin, but you can tweak as you go. It’s not essential to have a loose bottom, but it makes it much easier to cut and serve.
If you have a food processor, then I highly recommend using it for blitzing your biscuits. However, if you don’t, or you just can’t be bothered to clean it, then smash them in a tea towel or a zip up plastic bag with a rolling pin. Blitz or stir in the melted butter and tip into the dish. Using the back of a spoon or a measuring cup, press the buttery biscuit mix into the tin, making sure you bring it up the sides to create a shell. This may take a few minutes, but it’s worth the effort. Place this in the fridge whilst you prepare the rest of the pie.
For the toffee sauce, add the butter and sugar to a large, heavy based non-stick saucepan and place over a medium heat. Stir the mix over the heat until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted (2-4 minutes). Pour in the condensed milk and stir in with a whisk. Increase the heat and stir constantly until the mix starts to bubble. Stir this for 2-4 minutes until the sauce changes colour and begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and add your cinnamon, salt and vanilla. Stir these in and set aside to cool.
Remove the shell from the fridge and slice the bananas (line them up and slice all together to save precious time – time you could be spending with your dog, kids or drinking). Pour the cooled toffee sauce over the base and spread out evenly. Lay the banana slices on the toffee and grate over the nutmeg (a quarter nut is more than enough). Place this back in the fridge, or not, whatever you fancy.
In a large bowl combine the cream, rum, icing sugar, coconut flavour and vanilla. Whip this to stiff peaks and load a quarter of this into a piping bag with whatever shaped nozzle takes your fancy (this is not essential, but I love adding a Fanny Craddock pipe effect to all my dishes). Spread the remaining cream over the top of the bananas and smooth the top with a palette knife or whatever you have to hand. Enjoy piping whatever pattern you like over the top of the pie (please enjoy this process).
Sprinkle the toasted coconut and chocolate over the pie and refrigerate until needed. This pie is best left in the fridge for as long as it lasts. All the added ingredients are optional, but worth the extra effort if you have them to hand! If your piping technique doesn’t work, then just smoosh it down and cover it with the chocolate and enjoy!