08 April 2014

Foodie Tuesday | Banoffee

So... your dentist will hate this dessert. Let's just get that out of the way straight off. Like, H-A-T-E I-T. I don't know why, considering this pie basically pays his mortgage, but dentists can be a little sanctimonious when it comes to the obnoxious sugar consumption (no offence, dentists) and this pie is sugar on sugar on sugar.

You've been warned.

The good news? It's freaking delicious. Like, ridiculously so. It has been said by some people that they would run over their own mother to get a slice of ooey-gooey goodness (not by me, of course - hi, Mom! - but a few others I know.) So, any pie that's reason enough to commit matricide is damn good, in my book. How about yours?

Preparation: 50 minutes | Cooking Time: 30 minutes | Chilling Time: 30 minutes - 1 hour | Serves: 8
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • cooking spray
  • 2 (300mL) cans sweetened condensed milk* (we use Eagle brand)
  • 2 large, very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 oz. (1 square) semi-sweet baker's chocolate
Cooking Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a medium-sized mixing bowl in your freezer to chill.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, melt butter in the microwave for 45 seconds, or until fully liquefied. Whisk briskly to eliminate separation. Add graham cracker crumbs and stir (with a whisk, or a fork) to combine thoroughly.
  3. Lightly grease a 9" pie plate with cooking spray. Press graham cracker mixture in an even layer along the bottom and sides, to form your crust. If you have little ceramic pie balls, go ahead and be a little showy-offy by placing a layer of parchment paper into the centre of your crust, then filling with balls. If you don't have them, your crust can go in the oven as-is.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until crust is baked through and a deep golden brown. (If you are using baking balls, allow to bake for 15 minutes then remove parchment paper and balls, and continue cooking the remaining 15 minutes.) Remove from oven and set aside; allow to cool.
  5. Peel and slice bananas into a small bowl. Toss with a splash of lemon juice to prevent browning.
  6. Meanwhile, pour the condensed milk in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Gently bring the milk to a rolling boil, stirring nearly constantly (I stir less frequently while it's cool and heating up, and more frequently as it approaches boiling.) Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring constantly for 15 or so minutes, or until milk caramelizes: it will become thick and darken to a deep golden brown colour.
    Be sure to take it off the heat while it's still soft and pourable; if you continue cooking, it will solidify and become an actual caramel candy. Which is good, too, and super delicious, but won't work for your purposes right now.
    Note: There are some varieties of condensed milk that you can caramelize in the can by placing them in a deep pot of boiling water and cooking for 2-2 1/2 hours. Once caramelized, the milk will last for weeks - even months. Eagle brand does not recommend cooking in the can so I don't, but if you have one that does and find that easier, by all means go for it.
    Another Note: Some also say that condensed milk should be caramelizes in a double boiler, or at the very least in a metal mixing bowl over a pot of boiling water. I've never done it this way and mine always works out fine, but basically however you want to caramelize your milk, is totally fine. Do what works best for you.
  7. Pour half the caramel mixture into the bottom of your crust. Carefully - moving in a fan pattern, by starting in the centre and making a sweeping, continuous "C" motion - spread the caramel with a spatula or the back of a soup spoon (I always use the spoon; easier to handle.)
  8. Spread the bananas in an even layer on top of the caramel. Top with the remaining half of caramel, then place in the fridge to cool.
  9. While the pie is cooling, remove the bowl you placed in the freezer earlier. Combine whipping cream, vanilla and granulated sugar in the bowl, then whip until light and stiff. Spread the whipped cream over the pie - go ahead: be fancy with it. Make it swirly, or gloopy, or smooth... whatever you like. Just use it all, even if it looks like too much. You really want it.
  10. Finally, grate some chocolate on top of the whipped cream. I use a lemon zester so the flakes are little, but you can put as much - or as little - chocolate on top as you'd like.
For inspiration (and to show you what it should look like, approximately) here are some "in process" shots.

So the next time you feel like getting your sugar-high on, and you've got an extra hour or so, give it a whirl. Your taste buds will thank you (even if your dentist won't.)