Last month, I spent some time in Ireland for work. While I was there, I tried an English dessert called Banoffee Pie. The pie consisted of a creamy layer of toffee filling, sliced bananas, and mounds of fluffy whipped cream, all on a tasty cookie crumb crust and dusted with chocolate. It was so delicious, I decided I wanted to make it when I went home.
“The Completely True and Utter Story of Banoffi Pie” is told in an entertaining manner by Ian Dowding who invented the creation. He also provides the “Official Banoffi Pie” recipe here. Mr. Dowding’s yummy creation has undergone some transformations to it’s most popular form today. From what I gather, he detests crumb crusts, but the two versions I ate in Ireland both had crumb crusts. All the recipes I saw (except for his) did also. His original whipped cream topping has an addition of coffee flavor, but again, I did not see that anywhere. I did add some instant coffee to some whipped cream as he instructs, and tried it on a piece pie, but I really didn’t like it, so left out the coffee. The popular version with crumb crust and unsweetened whipped cream is given below.
The recipe I used was given to me by my Irish coworker. It’s very simple, with few ingredients. There’s really no baking involved, it’s more of an assembling of the ingredients. And it will taste like you got it from a bakery!
4 ounces butter, melted
20 McVities Digestive Biscuits (can be found at Cost Plus World Markets, link to store locator) For gluten-free crust, see note below.
14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1 pint whipping cream
grated chocolate or cocoa powder
1. Submerge (unopened) can of sweetened condensed milk in a pot of water. Bring water to a boil and simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
2. While the milk is cooking, assemble pie crust. Crush biscuits until you have a fine crumb texture. You can do this by placing the biscuits in a ziploc bag and crushing them with a rolling pin, or by using a food processor. Pour crumbs into a bowl. Add the melted butter and stir to combine. Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring form pan or other baking dish. (I made a large pie in a 10×13 dish to share at work when I got back from my trip.) Chill the crust for at least one hour.
3. When the sweetened condensed milk has cooked for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, carefully remove the can from the pot of water and allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. The contents will be hot and under pressure. The can I used had a pull tab. I used a pot holder to hold the very hot can, and a butter knife to pop the tab. Some of the toffee squirted out, so be careful! Pour or spoon the toffee onto the crumb crust. Chill for at least one hour or overnight.
4. Slice bananas and arrange in a single layer on top of the toffee. If using a spring form pan, remove the sides from the pan and place the pie on a plate.Whip the cream and spoon it over the toffee and bananas, spreading to the edges to seal the pie. Sprinkle with grated chocolate or cocoa powder. Serve and enjoy!
Note #1: For a gluten-free version, I made the crust from 1 cup of Trader Joe’s ground almond meal mixed with 1 tablespoon sugar and 3 tablespoons of melted butter. This made some small 4-inch tarts for my gluten-free friends.
Note #2: Mr. Dowding says that multiple cans of sweetened condensed milk may be prepared ahead of time and stored for later use.