Wednesday, February 8, 2012

International Desserts, Month 6

I know I said last month was month 6 of international desserts, but, well, I goofed.  So, this is actually month 6 of this. 

A friend of mine suggested some time ago that I make a traditional British dessert, Banoffee Pie.  Banoffee Pie is a graham cracker crust, sliced bananas, toffee filling, and whipped cream topping, with shaved chocolate thrown in for a cute garnish.  Really, a super easy dessert, once you make the toffee. 

Let's talk about the toffee.  I'm not the biggest fan of it, but that's not really the point.  When you make it, you take the label off of a can of sweetened condensed milk, put it in a large pot, cover it with water, and boil it for 2.5 hours.  Make sure you keep it covered with water, or apparently the can will explode and not only will you not have the toffee you need, but you will have a huge mess to clean up.  I find doing things like this a little dicey.  I mean, you can't see into the can, so you won't know if you did it right until several hours later, when the can is cool enough to handle.  But, the good news is that you can do more than one can at a time, as long as your pot is big enough, and they supposedly keep forever in the cupboard.  As for the pan, use the biggest one you have -- you will thank me later.  I used my largest pot, and I wish I had something that was a little taller, because I ended up having to add more water a few times. 

The reason I chose this month to make this dessert is because I was going to spend the day at a friend's house, watching Downton Abbey all day (fantastic show. you should watch it). I thought it was fitting to bring a British dessert to eat while watching a British show.  I made them mini, in my mini tart pan, because, well, mini food gets eaten faster.  They were so cute.  And yes, I cheated and used canned whipped cream and mini chocolate chips on top.  I didn't feel like dealing with making whipped cream at my friend's house. 

The only other change I made was I did a baked graham cracker crust, because I knew it would hold up better to being mini-fied.   I have printed the original crust recipe here. 

Banoffee Pie

fp note: i halved this recipe, and it made me almost 2 dozen tiny tarts.

400 grams graham crackers, crushed into crumbs
200 grams butter, melted
2 cans of condensed milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 large ripe bananas
chocolate, for shaving as garnish

  1. Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter.  Press the mixture into a pie pan and chill. Boil the cans of condensed milk for  2-2.5 hours, making sure they stay fully submerged in the water at all times.  Set aside to cool.
  2. When cool, spread the toffee on the crust.  Slice up the bananas and place on top of the toffee layer.  Whip up the whipped cream and spread over the bananas.  (fp note: oops, did that backwards. my bananas were on the bottom.) Grate some chocolate over the top for garnish.
  3. Either chill the pie or serve immediately!

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