1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour
1/3 cup (35 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Dulce de Leche:
4 cups (1 quart) (1 liter) whole milk (cow's or goat's milk)
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup (glucose)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large bananas, peeled sliced
1 1/4 cups (300 ml) cold heavy whipping cream (contains 35-40% butterfat)
2 tablespoons (20 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar
Shortbread Crust: Butter or lightly spray with a nonstick vegetable cooking spray, an 8 - 9 inch (20 - 23 cm) tart pan with a removable bottom.
Shortbread Crust Video
In your food processor, place the flour, sugar, and salt and process to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the pastry starts to come together and form clumps. Place the pastry in the prepared tart pan and, using your fingertips, evenly press the pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. (Can use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface of the pastry.) Pierce the bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork. (This will prevent the pastry crust from puffing up while it bakes.) Cover and place the pastry crust in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill. (This will help prevent the crust from shrinking while it bakes.)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven.
Place the tart pan on a larger baking sheet and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 13 - 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Can be covered and stored for a few days.
Dulce de Leche: Put the milk, sugar, corn syrup, baking soda and salt in a large, heavy-duty 8 quart (8 liter) saucepan or Dutch oven. Place over medium to medium-high heat and bring just to a boil.
Dulce de Leche Video
Watch carefully, and as soon as the milk begins to foam up, stir with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, and reduce heat until the milk is just at a low rolling boil. (If the milk foams up too much, remove the saucepan from the heat until the foam starts to subside. Then return to heat.) Continue to cook the milk, stirring the bottom and sides of the saucepan frequently, until the mixture becomes very thick and sticky and caramel colored (this will take about 40 - 60 minutes) (will reduce to about 1 1/4 cups (300 ml). It is important to frequently stir the milk so it does not burn. Adjust the heat as necessary, you want the milk to be at a low rolling boil. Remove from heat and strain, if necessary. Stir in the vanilla extract. Let cool before covering and storing. Can be stored in the refrigerator for at least a month.
Whipped Cream: Put your mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Then beat the whipping cream and powdered sugar just until stiff peaks form.
To Assemble: Spread about 1 cup (240 ml) of Dulce de Leche (can use store bought) evenly over cooled crust. Top with sliced bananas. Spread the whipped cream over the bananas. Can dust with cocoa powder, shaved chocolate or freshly ground coffee. Can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for several hours.
Serves 8 - 10 people. Preparation time 1 hour.
If you are just discovering Banoffee Pie, you are in for a treat. This is a caramelized version of Banana Cream Pie where instead of pastry cream, it has a delicious layer of creamy smooth toffee (Dulce de Leche). I have yet to find a person who doesn't enjoy this combination of buttery crisp shortbread crust, toffee, slices of sweet bananas, all covered with loads of whipped cream.
The word "Banoffee" (or Banoffi) is a portmanteau (blend) of the two words 'banana' and 'toffee'. It is a UK classic, invented in 1972 at the Hungry Monk Restaurant in West Sussex. A Banoffee Pie starts with a pastry crust, in this case a shortbread crust which does, in fact, taste like a shortbread cookie. It is so easy to make. All you need is to give the ingredients a quick whirl in your food processor until you see a dough beginning to form. Then press the dough into your tart pan, prick the bottom of the pastry, and place the pan in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Bake the crust until golden brown and let it cool completely. If you like you can make the crust a day or two before filling. To add a little chocolate flavor to this pie, melt 2 ounces (60 grams) of semi sweet chocolate and brush the melted chocolate on the bottom and sides of the cooled tart shell. Let the chocolate set before filling.
Next step is the layer of toffee. The original Banoffee Pie recipe called for cooking a can of sweetened condensed milk until thick and golden colored. Another option would be to simply buy a can or jar of Dulce de Leche. Or, my personal preference, is to make Dulce de Leche from scratch. While it does take about an hour of your undivided attention, as it needs a lot of stirring, once made it can be stored in the refrigerator for at least a month. To make Dulce de Leche you start with whole milk, either cow's or goat's. (Goat's milk gives the Dulce de Leche a slightly different flavor, with a distinct after taste. I have found goat's milk at my local grocery store.) Besides milk, you need sugar, light corn syrup (or glucose), baking soda and salt. Put the ingredients in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and place on the stove and cook until thick and golden colored. Let cool before using.
So, once you have made and cooled the shortbread crust, and the Dulce de Leche, all you need to do is slice about 3 bananas and whip the cream. Then spread about one cup (240 ml) of the Dulce de Leche over the cooled crust, cover with the slices of bananas, and pile the cream on top. Now, if you make sure to cover all the cut bananas with some of the cream, the Banoffee Pie can be made and refrigerated several hours before serving. But if you do not cover the cut bananas completely with cream you will need to serve the Banoffee Pie right away, as the cut bananas will start to brown. You can dust the top of the pie with cocoa powder, shaved chocolate, or like the Hungry Monk, you can sprinkle with freshly ground coffee. The perfect comfort food.