Banoffe Pie

Updated: Banoffee Pie, for the longest time, had been the most-viewed post on Guilt Free. Even after other posts took over it, it maintained some kind of sway and attracted its generous share of footfalls everyday. But having been one of my first ever posts, the visual appeal of this post was almost negligible. Of course I did not want to torture so many of my readers with an unflattering picture of one of the most gorgeous and decadent desserts that can ever be. So when the call came for an eggless cake, I decided to skip the baking bit (or rather the cake bit) and settle for a chilled dessert instead. I went through this article in The Guardian before I got down to making my pie. I did not follow any particular recipe to the tee but borrowed ideas from the said article and came up with my own version, which is also largely different from the one I had used in the my last attempt. The result was, if I may say so, 10 times better and the entire pie got wiped off in a single sitting!

Original Post: On this particular day, my Jyethi decided to make pasta. Despite my earnest offer to help her, she chose to go the full length alone. But I HAD to do something. And the thought of doing the dessert for the meal struck me. I was in a hurry as I had to go to New Market to get strawberries (what happens with that will be another story), meet a friend on her wedding anniversary and then go to work. So I took out my laptop and rummaged the recipe section in the hope of finding something that I haven't made before but also what could easily be made with the ingredients already at home. This was when I stumbled across Banoffee Pie.
Now, truth be told, I've never had Banoffee Pie before. Every single time I've ordered for one, the restaurants invariably have failed to provide me with the same. So I was a bit skeptic to start off. A dessert made of bananas (not my favourite fruit, by any means) with such a fancy name and that too something I had never even tasted. But the plus side was I had no benchmark flavour wise. It could either turn out well, or not so well. The risk was worth taking! And boy, didn't it pay off!
Serves: 8-10

Ingredients:

For the base:

Digestive biscuits (McVities or any other brand): 200 gm
Walnuts: 50 gm (You van use almonds or pecans as well)
Butter, melted and cooled: 100 gm

For the filling:
Bananas: 3
Condensed milk: 400 ml
Butter: 75 gm
Brown sugar: 50 gm

For the topping:
Heavy cream: 400 ml (there's a dearth of heavy whipping cream in town, so I used fresh cream and whipped it will all my might to reach a stage as close as possible to whipped cream)
Caster sugar: 2 tbsp
Cocoa powder/Instant coffee: 1 tsp
Walnut halves/Chocolate shavings (optional): For garnish

Method:

1. In a zip lock bag take the biscuits and walnuts and hammer away to glory. You can also use a blender for this purpose. The consistency should be a bit coarse and some of the nuts can be left whole.

2. Now add the melted butter to the grainy mixture, mix it by hand or in the blender thoroughly till the biscuit bits become soft and crumbly.

3. Spread it evenly on a pie tin and line the sides as well. Put inside the freezer for an hour or two.

4. For the caramel: Heat the sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When the sugar dissolves and butter melts completely, add condensed milk and bring to a boil. Lower the flane to medium, tilt the pan and roll it around but do not stir. Once smooth and shiny, remove from heat and cool.

5. In the meantime, chop the bananas into round slices. Smear the slices with the lemon juice (this is done to prevent the banana from discolouring). Take 3-4 tbsp of caramel and toss the banana slices in it. Set aside.

6. Take the pie base out, pour the caramel over the base and arrange the banana slices in concentric circles till the base is full. Put it in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours to set.

7. 30 minutes before you are ready to serve the pie, put your cream and the whisks in the freezer. After that whip the cream on an ice bath till it forms soft peaks form. Add sugar and whip for an additional minute. (You can click here for a detailed explanation on how to whip cream). Now add 1 tsp of cocoa/coffee powder and gently swirl it once to get a marbled effect.

8. Take the pie out and spread the cream on it with a rubber spatula. Plant walnut halves in a circle around the edges. You can also sprinkle some chocolate shavings if you like.

9. You can unmould the pie first or serve it from within the mould by cutting into slices. This is one helluva chilled dessert!
Summertime Love: Day 16
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