One of my favorite things about baking is that, for the most part I have free reign over what I choose to make. Occasionally when someone puts in a request for something special, I'm more than happy to oblige and whip something up for them, but usually I get to bake whatever it is I feel like.
And so far no one seems to be complaining so I take that as a good sign.
Anyway as soon as I saw Banoffee Pie floating around the internet, I knew it was something I would absolutely love. It kept popping up all over the place with all the Harry Potter recipes for the premiere of the new movie last week.... because Banoffee Pie, I believe, is very popular in Britain.
Banana + Toffee = Banoffee
This pie is actually mentioned in the movie "Love Actually", which takes place in England. If you haven't seen this movie I recommend going out immediately, renting it, and watching it. Nevermind that it's a Christmas movie, it's just plain awesome. It makes me believe in love, it makes me idolize airports, it makes me want to go live across the pond for awhile. Perfect for romantics like myself.
When I watched this ages ago I myself had never heard of Banoffee Pie either, and truth be told, we as Americans are missing out.
While I sense (and I'm no authority on the matter) that Banoffee Pie can be made with a variety of different pie crusts, in my version I went with a homemade vanilla pie crust.
This layered with homemade dulce de leche (which is so easy to do - a post on that coming soon!), ripe bananas, homemade lightly sweetened whipped cream, and chopped toffee bits just sent me into dessert overload bliss - in the best way possible of course.
This dessert fulfilled and rose above every expectation I had. My grandmother and surrogate grandmother Connie were sitting in the room as I spread the whipped cream over the pie, and after the room went dead silent I looked up to see all eyes were watching me expectantly.
(As they were practically licking their plates later I think they agree.)
I just can't believe here in America we've been oblivious to Banoffee Pie for far too long. So spread the Banoffe Pie love. Make this, and then bring me some, because I need to experience the bliss that is Banoffee Pie again, sooner rather than later.
Servings: 10-12 (1 9-inch pie)
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
8 Tbsp cold butter cut into small pieces
3 Tbsp very cold water
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 15oz can dulce de leche (store bought or homemade)
2 bananas (ripe but firm)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 Tbsp powdered sugar
toffee bits for sprinkling
To make pie crust. Combine flour salt and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium low speed until the butter is the size of small peas. Add vanilla extract and mix until well distributed. Add cold water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together. Pat into a a disk. Flour a work surface and rolling pin and roll out pie crust to a 12 inch circle. Place rolled out pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate and crimp edges if desired. Freeze for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the pie shell with foil and put in baking beads or pie weights (or rice works too!). Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until pie crust no longer looks wet. Remove foil and beads and bake for an additional 10-13 minutes more, until golden brown. Let cool on a wire cooling rack completely.
To make pie. When crust is completely cool, pour the entire can of dulce de leche into the pie crust and smooth. Cut up both bananas and place all around dulce de leche. In the bowl of a clean electric mixer mix heavy cream and powdered sugar on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Spread whipped cream all over bananas. Top pie with chopped toffee bits. Refrigerate at least 1 hr before serving. Enjoy!
Recipe: Adapted from many different sources.