Sunday, February 24, 2013

Banoffee Pie

Banoffee = Banana + toffee 

This Pie is Pure Genius! 

Let me take you all down the road of culinary genius to find the origins of this dessert.
Here is the story from the creator Ian Dowding himself. The Complete true and utter story of Banoffi Pie 

Credit for the pie's invention is claimed by Ian Dowding (chef) and Nigel Mackenzie (owner) at The Hungry Monk restaurant (now closed) in Jevington, East Sussex. They developed the dessert in 1972, having been inspired by an American dish known as "Blum's Coffee Toffee Pie", which consisted of smooth toffee topped with coffee-flavoured whipped cream. Dowding adapted the recipe to use instead the type of soft caramel toffee created by boiling a can of condensed milk, and worked with Mackenzie to add a layer of bananas. They called the dish "Banoffi" and it was an immediate success, proving so popular with their customers that they "couldn't take it off" the menu.

The Hungry Monk closed its doors for the last time in January 2012 due to "increased running costs". It was purchased in 1968 by Nigel Mackenzie and his wife, and was open for 44 years.
The recipe was adopted by other restaurants, and was reported on menus in Australia and America.[2] In 1994, a number of supermarkets began selling it as an American pie, leading Nigel Mackenzie to offer a £10,000 prize to anyone who could disprove their claim by finding any published pre-1972 recipe for the pie. 

Mackenzie erected a blue plaque on the front of The Hungry Monk confirming it as the birthplace of the world's favourite pudding.The recipe was published in The Deeper Secrets of the Hungry Monk in 1974 (now out of print), and reprinted in the Hungry Monk's later cookbook In Heaven with the Hungry Monk (1997). Ian Dowding has since put his original recipe online because he is "pedantic about the correct version", and stated that his "pet hates are biscuit crumb bases and that horrible cream in aerosols".

A recipe for the pie, using a biscuit crumb base, is often printed on tins of Nestle's condensed milk.The word "Banoffee" has entered the English language and is used to describe any food or product that tastes or smells of banana and toffee.

Banoffee pie in India
Banoffee pie is a very popular dessert on the backpacker trail in India, thought possibly to have arrived as early as 1978 or 1979 with the influx of young westerners to the region, who shared their favourite comfort food recipes with the local restaurateurs who catered to them.The banoffee pie is a fixture in most budget and tourist towns from McLeod Ganj in the northern Indian state of Himachel Pradesh to the resorts of Goa.
Source : Wikipedia

These are two of my versions of the Banoffee pie, its got a few tweaks and one of them is a shortcut version for when you are pressed for time.I have added my own little spin to it by adding nutella to it. The nutella does something magical ( not that the original is not) it cuts through the sickly sweet caramel and adds a nutty flavour which is just divine.

Recipe - The "Almost from scratch method"


For the Pie Crust
(adapted from The Little Teochew)
1 1/2 cups (200g) all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup (50g) granulated white sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten

For the Filling
2 Bananas
250 ml thickened cream 
2 tbsp Nutella
2-3 tsp Caster Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract/paste Banana slices and Chocolate shards for garnish

Start by boiling 2 litres of water in a pot and placing the condensed milk tin in it. Put it on a low simmer for 2 hours. Next start the pastry. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour with the salt. Place the butter in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, and beat until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg, beating just until incorporated. Add the flour mixture all at once and mix just until it forms a ball. Flatten the pastry into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes or just until firm (can place in a freezer for about 10-15 minutes.)

Lightly butter and flour an 8  inch (20 cm) tart pan with a removable bottom. Once the pastry has chilled sufficiently, evenly pat onto the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan*. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200°C  (180°C for a fanforced oven) and place rack in center of oven. Bring out the tart shell that has been chilling in the freezer. Lightly prick the bottom with the tines of a fork. Place baking paper on it and add some beans or rice on it for blind baking. Put the tart in the oven for 25 minutes till its golden brown and cooked through. Take it out and let it cool completely before filling it.

After 2 hours remove the tin carefully from the pot and put it in a bowl of cold water to let it cool down. Be careful while opening the tin the dulce de leche (carmel) might ooze out. Slice the bananas and keep it aside. Take the pie crust and spread a tbsp of nutella on the bottom. Spread the dulce de leche (caramel) next. Fill the tart about 3/4 full. Top it with sliced bananas. Whip some thickened cream with a tsp of vanilla and 2-3 tsp of caster sugar.

                                                                                                Dulce de leche (caramel)

Top the bananas with the whipped cream spreading it evenly. Now let it chill for an hour or till you have to serve. For the garnish scrape a slab of semi sweet chocolate with a knife to get some shards. Decorate with a few slices banana and the chocolate shards. I made mini tarts as I had some pastry left over from another dessert.

"The Shortcut method"

There is no shame in using shortcuts to make your life easy when you are pressed for time. Using these shortcut ingredients, your dessert will be ready in a jiffy. Perfect for mid week dinners. 


For the pie crust
1 store bought sweet flan case
you can also choose to do a biscuit base (like in cheesecakes) if flan cases are unavailable.
500 g digestive biscuits (crushed)
3-4 tbsp melted butter

1 tin Nestle top n fill caramel
250 ml Thickened Cream
2 tbsp Nutella
2 Bananas

Chocolate shards and sliced banana for garnish

For the biscuit base: Mix the crushed biscuits with the melted butter and press it into the base of a tart tin. Put it into the fridge to let it set.Now take the biscuit base or the ready-made flan base and add the nutella on top and spread it evenly all over the base of the crust. Top it with the caramel and spread evenly till it is 3/4 full. Add the sliced bananas. Whip the cream with sugar and vanilla and spread it evenly on top of the bananas. Let it cool in the fridge for an hour or till its time to serve. Garnish with sliced banana and chocolate shards.

num num...

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