banoffee pie

I know I was supposed to whip the cream. It was a long day, ok?
I really did mean to whip the cream, but sometimes loose & unstructured is just fine.

Even the most savoury-toothed person would have to admit that there’s something quite delightful about the idea of banoffee pie.

The name immediately conjures up all sorts of lovely images: golden, sticky caramel cascading onto a bed of crunchy biscuit crumbs; smooth slices of pale sunshiney banana; and curls of rich, bittersweet chocolate raining down in a dark flurry onto fluffy clouds of whipped cream.

You may think I’m waxing ridiculously lyrical, but you’ll understand when you eat it.

There are lots of variations of banoffee pies, but all of them involve the delicious combination of banana and toffee, and most will advise you to add whipped cream to the top. I feel, however, that there would be no great crime in adding chocolate or nuts or honeycomb pieces or even a smattering of peanut butter. These things are meant to evolve.

This banoffee pie doesn’t need to be baked, so it’s perfect for the oven-free amongst us. Who said that tiny kitchens need be deprived?

You can make this gluten-free if you like.
You can make this gluten-free if you like.

Banoffee pie
250g digestive biscuits (I used gluten-free biscuits, but feel free to go ahead and use whatever digestives you like)
2 x 100g unsalted butter
100g dark brown sugar (I used muscovado)*
400g can of condensed milk
4 bananas
300ml double thick cream

Grease a 20cm loose-bottomed springform cake tin.

Crush the digestives into powder; I used a freezer bag and a Vegemite jar to work off some aggression, but a rolling pin would probably be faster.

Melt 100g of butter and add to the digestives, mix into a soft, damp sand.

Press the biscuit mix into the cake tin, coming slightly up the sides and making sure it is packed tightly. You want to form a hollow that is about 1.5cm deep.

A biscuit base doesn't need to be baked
a biscuit base doesn’t need to be baked

Place the tin into the freezer for at least 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, place 100g of butter and the sugar into a pot and melt together, stirring constantly.

When you can no longer feel the sugar granules, add the condensed milk and bring to a rapid boil, stirring constantly. Boil for at least two minutes, until the mix forms a golden, caramel colour.

thick, luscious caramel
thick, luscious caramel

Allow to cool slightly, then pour the caramel into the biscuit base and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

at this point, it's just a toffee pie
at this point, it’s just a toffee pie

Before serving, top with sliced banana and whipped cream.

Note: A few of my guests thought this pie was a little too sweet, so I’d say you could safely reduce the sugar content. I haven’t tried it out to see how it goes, but next time I’d try halving the sugar. I mean, that almost makes it healthy – right?

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