3 sticks of butter
9 oz ginger snaps (crushed)
¾ cup sugar
14 oz can of condensed milk
4 bananas (sliced)
1 lemon (juiced)
1 cup double or whipping cream
Crush the ginger snaps into fine crumbs.
In a saucepan, melt 10 TB (1 stick + 2 TB) of butter. Remove from heat and mix in the ginger snap crumbs to evenly coat them.
Press this mixture into the bottom and sides of a 9” pie dish or tin to form the crust. (No greasing is necessary.) Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill.
In a non-stick saucepan or pot, melt the sugar and 14 TB (1 stick + 6 TB) of butter over medium low to medium heat. Stir occasionally.
Add condensed milk and heat to simmering, stirring continuously. Simmer for at least five minutes. The mixture should darken a bit and thicken.
Remove from heat and let cool off for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour over the crust and chill for two hours.
Shortly before the two hours are up, whip the cream until it thickens.
Slice bananas. Drizzle just enough lemon juice over the banana slices to lightly coat them in order to prevent discoloration.
Place the bananas on top of the filling, saving some slices for your topping.
Spoon the whipped cream over the bananas.
Top with the remaining banana slices and grated chocolate.
Ginger snaps crust – You can crush the ginger snaps manually by taking a mallet (I used a metal hand juicer) to a baggie full of them (protect your counters with a cutting board or other barrier!). Or, do this the easy way in a blender or food processor. There should not be any chunks otherwise your crust won’t stay together. It’s not the end of the world if the crumbs aren’t fine; it just makes it a little more difficult to transfer a complete piece from the pie tin to a plate. Notice the chunky crust in my photo above. The slices fell apart as I transferred them to bowls, but I didn’t care.
Saucepan – You can use the same saucepan for both the crust mixture and the filling mixture if you don’t mind a few ginger snap crumbs in your filling. If you don’t have a non-stick saucepan, use any available.
Cooking the filling – Aunt Rachel’s original recipe states, “The mixture should turn caramel colour.” Mine never does if I melt the butter first, then add the sugar. It just changes from a pale yellow to white-ish to a bit tan. On one attempt, I thought if I let it simmer longer and cool completely for a couple of hours, I would get that caramel color. I did not. Instead, the filling became a thick paste which I had to spread instead of pour on top of the crust.
To make a true caramel, you’re supposed to pour the sugar into a saucepan. Stir occasionally over medium low to medium heat, through all the clumps, until a brown liquid forms. Add pats of butter and stir until melted and blended with the sugar. Then add the condensed milk.
In the end, as long as you use these ingredients, you’ll end up with at least quasi-caramel, which will give you your banoffee filling.
Grated chocolate – You can use any chocolate bar you happen to have on hand, or you can buy a bar of semi-sweet baking chocolate.
Texture – If you’re able to get the filling to be truly caramel-like, you’ll have a beautiful gooey mess when you cut into the pie. However, if your filling is a little thicker and not as runny, not to worry. You’ll still experience the flavor!
Our banoffee pie back story:
In 1998, my husband and I traveled to Europe for the first time in order to meet his English side of the family. They introduced us to banoffee pie (banana + toffee = banoffee), and we instantly became addicted. Aunt Rachel sent us home with her recipe. She also makes it for us every time we visit. The cousins know she’ll make banoffee pie when we’re in town, so you can bet they make time to visit at mealtime – and arm wrestle for the last bite of banoffee.
Side note: I never paid attention to the difference between toffee and caramel until I typed up my modified version of Aunt Rachel’s recipe. I looked up how to make toffee and caramel to figure out what I always did wrong while making the filling. Toffee is butter and sugar. Caramel is butter, sugar and a milk product. Technically, this dessert should be called Banamel, but I think that’s too difficult to pronounce.
Banoffee pie is extremely thick and rich. It’s a delectable way to end dinner. It’s also a delicious way to start the day – as breakfast dessert! I’d like to be able to tell you how long leftovers will keep in the fridge, but it’s never lasted long enough for us to test this out.
Tips related to caramel and toffee: