Banoffee Pie

Feb 25th

The movie is Love Actually. Keira Knightley’s character shows up at her new husband’s best friend’s house. Best friend is in LOVE with her, but she doesn’t know it yet (he deals with his thwarted love by being mean to her). She shows up at his house for a favor, and as a way to entice his help she pops open a takeout container and asks sweetly, “banoffee pie?”
After seeing the movie at least a thousand times, I figured it was high time I found out what banoffee pie even is. Definitely British in origin, this pie combines bananas, caramel and coffee. I was intrigued – this is not a very common combination. I’d all but forgotten about this dessert when, flipping through my America’s Test Kitchen cookbook, I came across their recipe for banoffee pie! It looked easy enough, but I thought a graham cracker crust would be even better. All that being said, this is an adapted version of their recipe.
This pie is delicious. The bananas in the chewy caramel mesh so well with the crumbly graham cracker crust and the billowy whipped cream tops it off perfectly. It’s also SUPER easy to make. The only slightly annoying thing is that the pie is best when it’s served exactly 2 hours after putting it together, and those for those two hours it should be in your freezer. Well, that’s what the instructions in the cook book said. I had leftover pie in my freezer for two days, and it was just as delicious as it was when I first partook. The whipped cream freezes through, however, so let it thaw for five to ten minutes before cutting into it.
Have you noticed that bananas in desserts have a polarizing affect? Love Actually is the same way. I love Love Actually, and I love bananas in desserts. Hopefully I’m not putting you off homebeccanomics with these revelations. Several people ate this pie but the best review was by my friend Chris, who said that he hates bananas in desserts but loved my pie. Lastly, when pronouncing banoffee put the accent on BAN.
Here is the intro to Love Actually. How can you not love this movie?

Banoffee Pie

Serves 8

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Crust

1 sleeve honey graham crackers (8 crackers)

2 tbsp. sugar

4 tbsp. butter, melted

Filling

7 oz (about 26 ) soft caramels (like Kraft or Brach’s)

¼ c. water

3 ripe, firm bananas, peeled and sliced ½ inch thick

1 ½ c. heavy cream, chilled

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. instant espresso or coffee

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grind sugar and graham crackers in food processor until finely ground.

2. Add melted butter in a slow, steady stream while processing machine.

3. Dump mixture into glass pie plate and, using a custard cup or dry measuring cup, press mixture evenly into bottom and up sides of pan.

4. Bake crust for 12 minutes or until fragrant. Cool at room temperature, 30 minutes.

5. When crust has cooled, heat caramels and water in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Stir occasionally and cook until caramel sauce is smooth.

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6. Pour caramel sauce into bottom of cooled graham cracker crust.

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7. Shingle banana slices evenly across the surface of the caramel.

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8. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until caramel is cooled completely.

9. Beat cream, sugar, and instant espresso with whisk attachment on electric mixer on medium speed until thickened. Continue beating on low speed until cream is whipped to soft peaks.

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10. Pile whipped cream onto bananas and smooth to edges with spatula.

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11. Freeze 2 hours, and serve.

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