Sorry there was no post yesterday. We traveled across the state to see my father-in-law, my green-eyed Irish guy’s Pops. He’s in the hospital battling cancer and chemo is trying kicking his butt. He’s been a teacher for almost 50 years. He retired from the mathematics department in the Gary public school system a few years ago and went right in to teaching his true passion, history, in college. He’s a great thespian and singer. He’s very active in community theater. He’s a wonderful man, great teacher, amazing actor and singer, but to us, he’s just Pops and we love him.
Have you ever heard of Banoffee pie? I’ve been seeing it all over the internet. It’s a British dessert and I must say I’m glad it made it across the pond. It’s AH-MAZ-ING! Mine has a crust that’s a mixture of vanilla wafer crumbs and graham cracker crumbs. The toffee layer is made from a can of sweetened condensed milk. Then it’s layered with sliced bananas, topped with homemade whipped cream and finally sprinkled with shaved chocolate. Bananas + toffee = Banoffee pie. All I can say is yum! You do have to start this several hours before you can serve it. The can of sweetened condensed milk needs to boil for 3 hours. Then it needs to cool completely before trying to open the can. The heat pressurizes the can, so if you try to open it while it’s still hot, you’ll have an explosion of hot toffee. Sounds like burns, a trip to the emergency room and then a sticky clean up. I chose to make a more stable whipped cream with cream cheese in it because it will hold up better. Let’s get started making pie.
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
3 large ripe bananas
4 oz. cream cheese (1/2 brick), at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
Bar of semi-sweet baking chocolate for shaving over the top
Take the label off the can of sweetened condensed milk. Place it in a large Dutch oven and add enough water to cover the can by one inch. Allow to come to a boil on high heat, then turn the heat down to medium and boil for 3 hours. You will have to babysit this a bit. You always want the water to cover the can. Add more water as needed to cover by one inch. I had to add water 5 or 6 times. When the 3 hours is over, carefully remove from the pan with tongs and place on a cooling rack for about half an hour. Place in the refrigerator on a hot pad to cool completely. Or if you’re in a hurry, place in the freezer for about an hour.
While the toffee is cooling, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt the butter in a medium sized bowl for about a minute in the microwave. Add the vanilla wafer crumbs, graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir until well combined and all the butter is absorbed. Pat this mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-10 inch pie pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack. Set aside.
When the toffee is completely cool, remove from the can with a rubber spatula and spread evenly over the crust being careful to not disturb it. Slice the 3 bananas into 1/3 inch slices and distribute evenly over the toffee, layering as necessary. Set aside.
Place the cream cheese in a medium sized mixing bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer until smooth 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle in the sugar and beat once again until the sugar is well combined with the cream cheese and no longer grainy, another 2-3 minutes. Add the vanilla and the cold heavy whipping cream and mix for 2-3 more minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Continue mixing on high speed until it forms stiff peaks. Either spoon and smooth the whipped cream over the top of the bananas or pipe it on. Using a microplane grater, grate the chocolate over the whipped cream to lightly cover the top. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour to set the toffee before serving. Enjoy!
Wishing you love, laughter and cake,