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I gather there is a bit of controversy in England over Banoffi/Banoffee pie ... the controversy swirling around where it came from, etc. Apparently most of the credit is claimed by Nigel Mackenzie of the Hungry Monk in Sussex; however, on Ian Dowding's web site, there is a slightly different story. Mr. Dowding was the head chef at the Hungry Monk, and concludes that they didn't invent it in the strict sense of "invention," but helped it evolve. (It's an interesting story; you can read it at http://www.iandowding.co.uk.) In any event, this is Mr. Dowding's recipe for what he believes is the best version of Banoffi pie. Note that the long prep time includes time to make the toffee/caramel by boiling the cans of sweetened condensed milk.
- 9 ounces flour (Mr. Dowding says "plain flour," which I interpret as "all-purpose flour" in the U.S.)
- 1 ounce icing sugar
- 4 1⁄2 ounces butter
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 (5 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
- 5 -6 bananas, ripe
- 3⁄4 pint heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons caster sugar
- 1⁄8 teaspoon instant coffee
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground coffee
- Make toffee: (Note that these are my directions for making toffee; Mr. Dowding presents an oven method.) Remove labels from two cans of sweetened condensed milk. (Note that it MUST be sweetened condensed milk, NOT evaporated milk!).
- Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a boil. (You want the water to be a good 4-6 inches over the tops of the cans.) Drop the cans into the boiling water and boil for 2-1/2 hours.
- Note that it is EXTREMELY important to keep track of the water, and to make certain that the cans stay covered. If the water boils below the tops of the cans, the cans may overheat and eventually explode. If you keep the cans covered with water and pay attention, this is not a dangerous thing to do -- just don't take a nap, go outside, or get involved in a long phone conversation. Stay in the kitchen and you'll be fine!
- When you're done boiling the cans, turn the heat off and let the water cool a bit. I place the stockpot in the sink and start running cool, then cold, water into the stockpot, so the transition from boiling water to cool water is slow and steady. When the cans are completely cool to the touch, it's safe to open them. Do NOT open the cans when they're hot, to avoid being splattered by hot caramel.
- Make pastry: Place flour and sugar in a bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and cut into the flour mixture until it appears like fine bread crumbs.
- Work in the egg and egg yolk to form a paste.
- Chill dough for half an hour. Roll out pastry and line a 1" deep springform pan.
- Prick the pie crust, then line with parchment paper and weigh down with pie weights or dried legumes.
- Cook at 350 for fifteen minutes, then remove from oven and remove the parchment paper and pie weights.
- Return the pie crust to the oven and cook until it is evenly golden. (Mr. Dowding does not give a time estimate.) Remove from oven and cool.
- Assemble pie:.
- Spread caramel/toffee over cooled pie crust.
- Peel and split the bananas lengthwise. Arrange them on top of the coffee so that the curve of the banana fits the curve of the pie crust.
- Whip the cream, instant coffee, and caster sugar until it holds its shape (soft whip).
- Spread the cream over the bananas, up to the edge of the pie crust. Sprinkle very lightly with ground coffee.