Banoffee pie, attempt number 2

Thursday, September 01, 2011

While flipping through one of my photo books, my friend saw a photo of the banoffee pie I'd made earlier this year and she requested that I make it for her birthday. I panicked a little, because making it the first time hadn't been easy, but ultimately agreed to do it.

The recipe I used claims to be the original banoffee pie recipe, from the Hungry Monk, a restaurant located in East Sussex, England. (For those wondering, "banoffee" is a portmanteau of the words "banana" and "toffee," the two main ingredients in this pudding/pie.)

Here's the Hungry Monk banoffee pie recipe:

12 ounces uncooked shortcrust pastry
1.5 tins condensed milk (13.5 ounces each)
1.5 pounds firm bananas
375ml of double cream
Half a teaspoon powdered instant coffee
1 dessertspoon caster sugar
A little freshly ground coffee

Preheat the oven to 400F. Lightly grease a 10in x 1.5in flan tin. Line this with the pastry thinly rolled out. Prick the base all over with a fork and bake blind until crisp. Allow to cool.
The secret of this delicious pudding lies in the condensed milk.
Immerse the cans unopened in a deep pan of boiling water. Cover and boil for 3 hours making sure that the pan does not boil dry *(see CAUTION).
Remove the tin from the water and allow to cool completely before opening. Inside you will find the soft toffee filling.

Whip the cream with the instant coffee and sugar until thick and smooth. Now spread the toffee over the base of the flan. Peel and halve the bananas lengthways and lay them on the toffee. Finally spoon or pipe on the cream and lightly sprinkle over the freshly ground coffee.

This is basically a no-bake dessert, if you want it to be. I went ahead with a pre-made pie crust, and like the first time I made the pie, I did not want to use the can-boiling method to create the dulce de leche/toffee. I ended up going with the same method I used last time, though it hadn't been too successful. This time, however, it was! I poured the cans of condensed milk into a metal pan, which I then placed in a water bath inside a glass pan/dish. I then covered the metal pan with aluminum foil. I set the oven temperature to 350F.

Last time I tried this, I think I had it baking for over 3 hours. When I unwrapped the thing, it was toffee on the bottom and a milky white liquid substance on top. I had to strain out the clumps of gelatinous toffee (mmm, tasty). This time, I stuck it in for 3 hours and only checked on it two or three times. Whatever it was that I did worked like a charm. When the 3 hours were up, I removed the foil to find a thick caramel-colored toffee.

But something had to go wrong, because something always goes wrong when I bake. The next day, I set out to finish off the pie, only to find that I was one banana short. I had no time to go out and grab a banana, so I finished making the pie knowing that it'd be too sweet without that extra banana.

It definitely was, but I supplied my friend with an extra banana so she could adjust the pie to her liking :).

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