Banoffee Pie Recipe
If there's anything I love more than an incredible meal at a James Beard Award-winning restaurant or a home-cooked meal made with fresh, seasonal ingredients from the closest farmer's market, it's a Whopper Jr. or a dessert made out of a box. My sister Jill, an amazing cook with admirable food philosophies (a woman who once spent nearly a week making an opera cake just for fun), preaches that the best, most crowd-pleasing dessert is out-of-the-box Ghirardelli brownies. And the thing is, any half-wit can tear open the package, haphazardly toss in the required eggs and vegetable oil, and bake those suckers. No matter what, they emerge from the oven as a fudgy, perfect mess.
This recipe is similarly fool proof, low-brow, and fantastic. I especially love this banoffee pie recipe because you can find all of the ingredients at a 7-11 or your local bodega/tiny Korean grocery. (Note: bodegas and tiny Korean groceries probably feel identical if you're not a New Yorker, but there are some serious distinctions. Yes, both sell cigarettes, lotto tickets and lots of cereal, but at a Korean grocery has a bizarrely gigantic selection of international chocolate bars, while a bodega has a deli counter where you can get a turkey sandwich. Tiny Korean groceries are not to be confused with medium Korean groceries, which are the ones with buffet bars down the middle. Anyway, I digress....)
Banoffee pie is a super-sweet, nostalgic treat that tastes just good. Kind of like a homemade cupcake or PBJ... it's not the best thing you've ever tasted, but it's just good. In an episode of Mind of a Chef, April Bloomfield taught me that banoffee pie is a delightful British concoction to come out of the 1970s. But the first time I heard of banoffee pie, I hadn't yet seen her explanation and tutorial. Dan and I were in London, chowing down at a pub, and decided we'd order dessert. The server listed of the things we expected-- apple cobbler, sticky toffee pudding, chocolate cake-- and then the outlier, banoffee pie.
"What's that?" said the tourists.
"It's banana. And toffee. In a pie." said the grumpy waitress.
Ah, yes. Self-explanatory indeed, madam. We'll take one slice... Bob's your uncle.
Anyway, it was delish and here's how you make it at home. (Heads up! This crazy simple recipe does require about 4 hours of prep time. You won't be doing much during this time, but do prepare for a day of pie-making!)
- 28 oz condensed milk
- 1 pre-made, 9-inch graham cracker crust
- 4 large bananas
- 1 can Reddi Wip
- 1/4 bar Cadbury chocolate
- Remove label from can of condensed milk. Next, put it in a large pot and cover completely with water. Bring the water to a boil and boil for 4 hours. Check on the can regularly and make sure the water is boiling and that the can is covered with water the whole time—you will probably have to add water during this process.
- Remove the cans from the pot and let them cool. You may wish to do this part a day ahead. Toffee can wait until you're ready to make the rest of the pie.
- When ready to make the pie, begin by cutting bananas on an angle into long, thin slices. Layer half the bananas into the pie shell. Next, layer in all of the toffee on top of the bananas. Layer in remaning bananas. Chill pie until getting ready to serve.
- When ready to serve, quickly top entire pie with whipped topping and shave over some English Cadbury chocolate for a final, authentic touch.
- Slice and serve! Feeds 8 -10. Note: do not top with whipped topping until right before serving, especially if travelling with pie. It will melt and ooze all over if left out of the fridge for too long!