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Banoffee Pie

A while back, my son and I had occasion to have dinner at the British Club in Mohandeseen, a part of Cairo. There was only one slice of apple pie left, which my son wanted, so I wound up ordering something I had never heard of before -- Banoffee Pie. My son gobbled done most of it, leaving the apple pie uneaten, it was that good. This was a couple of months ago, and we still talk about it. I did an internet search and came up with all sorts of recipes, and caramel seems to figure in fairly heavily, which surprised me because I don't remember it in the pie we had. I remember that the waitress said that the crust was made with McVittie's biscuits and that bananas and whipped cream figured in pretty prominently. Does anyone have a reliable recipe that they'd like to share?

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    1. re: epabella

      I don't think that I have ever seen canned caramel like that in the US. It looks lovely though with the chocolate drizzled across the top! So I guess that carmel is the thing, and my taste memory is mistaken!

      1. re: roxlet

        hehehe - mine probably ends up tasting like that but never LOOKS like that - that's like food porn, the cast never looks quite as good without makeup, etc.

        1. re: roxlet

          The Nestle Caramel might be similar to canned Dulce de Leche here. I don't know for sure, but I think so. Maybe someone more in the know can confirm.

          1. re: roxlet

            You don't have to make your own caramel, although you certainly can if you want to.

            Nestle does sell it already made for the Hispanic market:
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6060...

          2. re: epabella

            It should be forbidden to include the calories at the end of a recipe like that one!

          3. Paula dean has a recipe for one on food network.

            All it is is Sweetened condensed milk that has been baked in the can for 1.5 hrs at 300 degrees F. The milk caramelizes into an almost caramel. well it turns brown and the taste intensifies. It's good.

            Pour it into a pie shell and add banana slices. That's banoffee pie.

            10 Replies
            1. re: tonka11_99

              That confirms - it is dulce de leche.

              1. re: tonka11_99

                I actually looked at the Paula Deen's recipe, and I think I'll continue looking since quite a few of the comments of the people who tried it were very negative. Did you try this recipe, tonka11_99?

                1. re: roxlet

                  Most of the comments on Paula's recipe have to do with making Dulce. I grew up with the 'cooked in the can' version. I'm also familiar with 'cajeta', the Mexican version made with goats milk and flavored with vanilla or cinnamon. I've also bought jars of Argentine Dulce de Leche. DL is almost an Argentine passion. But mostly I buy cans of Nestle Dulce de Leche. I think they just cook their sweetened condensed milk longer and use new labels. It costs a bit more than carmelizing the can myself, but more convenient. Often this can be found in Latino shops and aisles. It's made in Chile. I think I've even seen it at Walmart.

                  1. re: roxlet

                    I didn't try it. That caramelized milk sounds very rich.

                    1. re: roxlet

                      banoffee is a brit dessert so you might want to consult a brit recipe - if you didn't like the bbc recipe, maybe look up james martin's or jamie oliver's.

                      that smithfield foods lady wouldn't really know what to do with banoffee.

                      1. re: epabella

                        Yeah, She came up with the recipe after a trip to England. In fact, her encounter with banoffee pie was part of the show.

                        1. re: epabella

                          Here's Jamie Oliver's version, a bit of a twist with almonds. The piecrust seems to be a twist as well; most recipes call for a crushed digestive biscuit crust, similar to the graham cracker crust:

                          http://offthespork.blogspot.com/2007/...

                          Nice rustic pie photos, with the digestive biscuit base:

                          http://deelishdish.typepad.com/deelis...

                          1. re: bushwickgirl

                            wow, only checked those links now but the dulce de leche on that deelishdish is incredible. i always get gun-shy and never dare to get mine that brown - i guess it's who dares wins when caramelizing condensed milk.

                            1. re: epabella

                              I make this in a pressure cooker. Cover the can with water. Pressure cook: 20 min. and you can pour it, 25 minutes and you can spoon it, and 30 min. and you will have to spread it.

                              I wonder if you could make this crust with 'Nillas.
                              http://www.nabiscoworld.com/brands/br...
                              Or just buy one made from 'Nillas!!

                              1. re: yayadave

                                Got to use Oreos for the crust!

                                Any prebaked or crumb crust would work.. British digestive biscuits produce a crust that is similar to the American graham cracker crust.

                    2. I can't recommend a reliable recipe as I've never had it and today will be my first time making it, but I'm using the recipe from the Cookbook of the Month (Gourmet) for dessert tonight. It's the same recipe as the link below, although the one in the book calls for homemade pie dough. It mentions that "it made its debut at The Hungry Monk, a pub in England, in 1972". It gives an alternative method for making the toffee in cans which "sometimes results in explosions":

                      Banoffee Pie
                      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: Rubee

                        I would love to hear how it comes out, Rubee!

                        1. re: roxlet

                          Will do today! Didn't make the pie last night - too much food (and too many Manhattans) - but got as far as the toffee/dulce de leche:

                           
                            1. re: roxlet

                              Thanks Roxlet!

                              Update: I finally got around to finishing the pie today (bananas were a bit over-ripe though). It's delicious, though of course very rich. I wish the layer of toffee was not as thick (I noticed some recipes call for 1-1/2 cans of sweetened condensed milk). That didn't stop either of us from polishing off our whole slice, however!

                               
                              1. re: Rubee

                                Well, that looks just beautiful. I think that I will use less caramel when I make it. As I mentioned before, the one I had in Cairo was very light on the caramel -- so much so that it didn't seem to be a main ingredient at first. Is that a regular pie crust? Try it with a McVittie's crumb crust, if you can find McVittie's where you are. I know it's not trad, but it sure was good!

                                1. re: Rubee

                                  Rubee, did you use two full cans of sweetened condensed milk, and put it all in the pie? The reason I ask is that, in Gourmet Today, the recipe calls for "2 cups (from 2 14-ounce cans)" while in the Epicurious link, they have it as "2 cups (21 ounces)" - in other words, one and a half cans. However it is easy to see how reading it as they reworded it for the cookbook, one might assume they are calling for 2 cans.

                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                    Yes, you're right! I did use too much - full cans instead of two cups. Thanks for pointing that out, oops!

                                    1. re: Rubee

                                      Any idea how thick the Dulce layer was? Based on a couple of tarts that I recently made, I'd aim for 1/4", 1/2" max. When I eat Dulce straight, a heaping teaspoon is about the maximum.

                        2. Banoffee pie is accepted to have been invented at the Hungry Monk restaurant in East Sussex by its chef, Ian Dowding in the early 1970s. Here's his recipe:
                          http://www.iandowding.co.uk/recipes/d...

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Harters

                            Well, that looks like the real deal, and I have bookmarked it. Only thing is, I really liked the taste of the McVittie's digestive biscuits as the crust and will probably do that. Thanks for the link Harters!

                          2. Even the website of the original developer shows using Sweetened condensed milk that has been put in a water bath at 300 degrees f for 1 1/2 hours to caramelize the milk. It is still primarily the dish we have been talking about.

                            People are either going to really like like it or not like much at all. it is going to be rich and sweet. we will have to try it and see if we like it.

                            The good news. It won't take long or cost much to find out.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: tonka11_99

                              Absolutely! And the good thing is that it is really a refrigerator pie. Not so much time in the oven, thus useful for a hot-weather dessert.

                              1. re: tonka11_99

                                "People are either going to really like like it or not like much at all"

                                Used to be one of those desserts that was fashionable some years ago - on the menu of lots of restaurants (almost like sticky toffee pudding is now). Must admit, I don't like banoffee - much to sweet for me and sort of one-dimensional.

                                1. re: Harters

                                  I think for us it was such a surprise. I mean, it was ordered as a kind of default -- there was nothing else, and it was so good that it eclipsed the dessert we both wanted. Strangely, I don't rememeber being overwhelmed by the sweetness, just as I didn't have a real taste memory of caramel so perhaps the caramel was used very sparingly, and maybe that's the secret...

                              2. here's a video off the Carnation Co.'s UK site: looks mighty good

                                http://www.carnation.co.uk/pudcasts/2...

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: toodie jane

                                  I made something just like that a couple of days ago! Well, not quite, I used:
                                  - premade graham cracker shells (left over from making key lime pie years ago)
                                  - diced sweet potato (steamed)
                                  - warmed the Dulce and spread it on top
                                  - no whipped cream
                                  - sprinkled broken walnuts on top

                                  At first my wife thought they were chocolate pudding tarts.

                                  I have bananas now, so will have to try those. But I don't have whipping cream. What should I use for the topping? Marshmallow fluff, clotted cream, mascarpone (softened)?

                                  1. re: paulj

                                    the marshamallow fluff would be too sweet and too stiff.

                                    the clotted cream and mascarpone, while being silky and rich would not be quite light enough to contrast with the heavy dulce.
                                    not sure what to recommend. Could you whip some egg whites and somehow incorporate the clotted cream? Not sure you'd want to go to the trouble, but it might be a fun experiment. You can whip regular canned evaporated milk if you have some on hand.

                                2. A lot of people seem concerned that banoffee pie will be too rich or too intense. Maybe but probably not. That's what small pieces are for. I think the bananas would go a long way to calm it down.

                                  I think we will just have to make it and report back about our impressions.

                                  Worst case scenario, we fold in whipped cream or whipped egg whites to lighten it.

                                  Oh god... you know what would take it over the top..richness wise? A chocolate genache layer on the crust. Can you imagine how rich that would be?

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: tonka11_99

                                    You can always tweak the proportions of the main ingredients, the caramel, the bananas, and whipped cream. You don't have to make the dulce layer an inch thick )

                                  2. I tried to bake the sweetened condensed milk, today. I wasn't very successful.
                                    I started by putting the cans in a pan of water completely submerged and put them in an oven at 300 F for 90 minutes. The scm didn't caramelize or turn brown.

                                    Next I opened the 2 cans of scm and poured the contents into in an oven proof glass pan. I put that pan in a water bath and tried again at 300 F. This time it got overly brown on the top and stayed yellow on the bottom.

                                    I will try again in a few days after some research. I could just buy the dulce de leche but it is personal now. I will find out how to caramelize the scm.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: tonka11_99

                                      tonka11-99, check this link for a dulce de leche recipe that is foolproof. You didn't have the oven on high enough and you need more baking time. Aside from that, you were basically on the right track:

                                      http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives...

                                      Scroll down to page bottom for instructions.

                                      1. re: tonka11_99

                                        If you have a pressure cooker, see my post above.