We are thrown up in the air by the heavy waves
and with a big smack back to its base again. From this wooden boat I can oversee the British coastal skyline of East Sussex which looks like one big crumbled pie to me. I feel nauseous to the point where I want to throw up. I have to be brave and while gasping for air, I try to calm my senses and shaken body.
Only the boat was a fantasy, I am in mid air in an Airbus 320, in heavy weather. Like sardines, we are together in a small tin. Our heads are to be snapped off in a second with a big pair of scissors like they tend to do with to be tinned sardines. As we settle in for the landing at Gatwick Airport, diving rapidly towards the tarmac beneath us, I can only think about staying alive.
Crazy enough one hour later I am able to write this story, able to think clearly again, and even have an appetite. And do we need an appetite here, say with me …………….. , YES WE DO. Because we are in BANOFFI PIE country. There are two options here; you either start drooling on the spot, or you raise your eyebrows, as in what is it?
The Banoffee Pie is a wonderful combination of flavours, BANANA-COFFEE-TOFFEE, elevating the taste to better heights than any the ingredients on their own. A wonder of sweetness, of goodness, and of comfort. Let’s get to the bottom of this famous delish pie, historically as well as physically. The american -Blum’s Coffee Toffee Pie, is at the base of it all, a pie with smooth toffee topped with coffee-flavoured whipped cream. Ian Dowding, the chef of the Hungry Monk restaurant and its owner Nigel Mackenzie worked from this and created their miracle.
Back to base, the base, read the lips of Ian Dowling,- NO CRUMBLED COOKIES AND BUTTER for its base. No matter what recipe is written on a Nesle tin filled with condensed milk. Just be sure to start with uncooked shortcrust pastry or pie dough and you’re safe.
The secret of it all lies in the tin of condensed milk wich is cooked until the content changed from a thicker heavy milk into a lovely golden lush soft caramel to be spread over the crusty bottom.
So here is the original recipe from the website of the Hungry Monk restaurant, which unfortunately closed in January this year.
Banoffi Pie Recipe (serves 8-10 people)
uncooked shortcrust pastry or pie dough
(8 ounces of plain flour – 4 ounces of margerine or real butter. Mix together with a few spoons of cold water to a fairly soft dough. Let it rest in the fridge for an hour).
12 ounces uncooked shortcrust pastry
1.5 tins condensed milk (13.5 ounces each)
1.5 pounds firm bananas 375ml of double cream
Half a teaspoon powdered instant coffee
1 dessertspoon caster sugar A little freshly ground coffee
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 (400F, ). Lightly grease a 10in x 1.5in flan tin. Line this with the pastry thinly rolled out. Prick the base all over with a fork and bake blind until crisp. Allow to cool.
The secret of this delicious pudding lies in the condensed milk. Immerse the cans unopened in a deep pan of boiling water. Cover and boil for 3 hours making sure that the pan does not boil dry.
Remove the tin from the water and allow to cool completely before opening. Inside you will find the soft toffee filling.
Now spread the toffee over the base of the flan. Peel and halve the bananas lengthways and lay them on the toffee. Whip the cream with the instant coffee and sugar until thick and smooth.Finally spoon or pipe on the cream and lightly sprinkle over the freshly ground coffee.
It is absolutely vital to top up the pan of boiling water frequently during the cooking of the cans. 3 hours is a long time and if they are allowed to boil dry the cans will explode causing a grave risk to life, limb and kitchen ceilings.
Cook some more tins for later, or buy the precooked ones and you will be ready when you have some guests coming.
Enjoy your pie, and bottums up,
the DUTCH COOK
Hungry Monk Restaurant, Jevington, East Sussex, Great-Britain