Guest Author - Cynthia Kilmartin
Banoffee pie is an English classic dessert and named so because of the combination of the two words 'banana' and 'toffee'. Like most classic recipes there are hundreds of different theories on how to make the best banoffee pie, so you can experiment and find the version that you like the best.
Basically banoffee pie is a cookie crust with layers of sliced banana, caramel and cream. Lets look at all these layers separately and you can combine your pie to your choice.
Use what ever you have, a standard pie tin, a flan tin, even a spring-form cake tin would work, you may need to adjust the measurements of the ingredients if your tin is particularly large. Individual banoffee pies are also cute.
I have seen people have heated arguments over the crust of a banoffee pie, but lets get serious, whatever crust you use will be fine. Some people even insist on using a pastry crust. I personally think it should be cookie, but I would probably force myself to eat it if someone handed me one made with a pastry crust.
You need approximately 3 cups of cookie crumbs to half a stick of butter. It is easy to put the cookies in the food processor and give them a quick blitz. However I put the cookies in a sturdy plastic bag and let the girls bash away at them with a rolling pin. You may have to finish it off quickly yourself but it doesn't matter if it is a bit lumpy either. Melt the butter and get the kids to stir it together. If the kids are helping, use an oversized bowl so they can stir without sending crumbs all over your kitchen.
add a teaspoon of cinnamon
use ginger cookies
use chocolate cookies or chocolate chip cookies
Wow how things have gotten easier. When I used to make this pie, in a very fancy London restaurant I worked in around 20 years ago, we used to have to boil tins of condensed milk for 4 hours making sure they didn't boil dry and were always covered with water and turned regularly. Thank goodness you can now buy condensed milk already caramelised. I use 2 14 oz tins.
2-3 ripe bananas. I get the kids to slice them and I don't mind if they are a bit rough.
About 2 cups of standard whipping cream. You can use it out of a can but it is so much nicer if it is fresh. You can pipe the cream on or smooth it out or just let the kids blob it on in little mountain peaks.
While you don't need a topping it is nice to sprinkle some chocolate powder, grated chocolate or shaved chocolate, drizzle chocolate syrup or drizzled melted chocolate even artfully placed chocolate chips to add that finishing touch.
Push your cookie crust mix around the tin evenly. The kids can do this with their fingers although it is a good idea to use a straight sided glass to push it in tight and make it nice and even.
Spoon in your caramel, this can be a little sticky and messy so is one area I don't recommend young children help with – they could be slicing the bananas while you do this. Cover the caramel with banana slices and add a thick layer of cream, the cream layer and the caramel should be about equal height. Sprinkle with chocolate powder or the topping of your choice.
Have fun with this quick easy pie!