Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Banoffee Pie

March for me is the official start of summer. I remember when I was still a student, I'd always look forward to it because it meant the end of the school year and finally my sweet freedom where I didn't have to worry about exams or homework.

Summer is all about sun-drenched beaches, hot weather, colorful dresses and parties. Although the weather in March this year had been indecisive between sunshine and rain, I packed my bags and started my 3-week long vacation from work with a couple of days spent in one of the most popular beaches in the Philippines - Boracay. 

The sun decided to come out after a bleak morning, lucky!!!
From parasailing to helmet diving to kite boarding, Boracay has an endless array of fun and activities. It is also the perfect place for foodies to go and indulge. From sun-up till sundown, Boracay provides an all-day glutfest, where you can gorge to excess (if you have all the money to spend) and profess your love for food without shame.  I confess I gained a few pounds after only a couple of days, what with all the food around me and it was worth it - every single pound. 
It was one of my food finds there that actually inspired this little Banoffee Pie. While I was walking around, gazing at every single restaurant I passed by, dithering over where I should eat next (right after a big lunch, there's always room for dessert!), a pretty, bright, little store caught my eye - Fruits In Ice Cream. It was the orange color in contrast with the white beach umbrellas over the tables that got my curiousity. I decided to go in and check out their menu. 
I completely fell in love with their Banoffee Sundae. OMG. It was just pure bliss. Under the heat of the sun, it felt so refreshing.The caramel ice cream complimented perfectly the flavor of the bananas, topped with MORE caramel + chocolate sauce and some crushed graham crackers.  It was a match made in heaven, like milk and coffee. It was absolutely FOOD-gasmic and completely addictive. Unfortunately, the FIC franchise in my city doesn't serve it so the first thing I'm going to do the next time I go to Boracay is definitely to treat myself to this lovely Banoffee Sundae again.

This pie is for Peachy who loves dulce de leche. 


Graham Cracker Pie Crust
recipe from Betty's Kitchen

1 1/4 c crushed graham crackers (or ready made crumbs)
1/4 c sugar
6 tbsp butter, melted

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter with a fork until well mixed and it comes together as a dough. 

Press the mixture into a 9-inch pie plate with your fingers to get an even crust on the bottom and the sides. Bake at 375 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes, or until edges are browned. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge while you make the dulce de leche.

Dulce de Leche
1 can (14 oz or 390g) of sweetened condensed milk

This is the easiest though longest method to make Dulce de leche. Remove the label from the can. Submerge the can completely in water in the middle of a large pot like this. 
Make sure the water level is always above the top of the can to prevent it from exploding while boiling. Boil for 3 hours, adding a little bit more water if the level goes below the top of the can. Cool for 20 minutes before opening the can.
Look at that nice, thick, caramel...yuummmm
Banana Toffee Filling
1 can dulce de leche
3 large bananas, sliced and brushed lightly with lemon juice to prevent browning
whipped cream topping

Whipped Cream Topping
250 ml whipping cream or heavy cream
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat the whipping cream with the sugar until heavy peaks form. Add the vanilla and beat until well mixed. 

1. Spread the cooled dulce de leche over the graham pie crust. Chill for 30 minutes.
2. Top the dulce de leche layer with the sliced bananas evenly. 
3. Top with another layer of dulce de leche, then top with the remaining bananas and then the last layer of dulce de leche.
4. Cover the filling with lightly sweetened whipped cream. 

5. Drizzle some melted chocolate and sprinkle some chocolate shavings on top of the whipped cream.

6. Take a huge slice and gobble it down quickly while Jo-Ann isn't looking.

I get the last slice!
Make sure to OIL the pan well enough before pressing the graham cracker crumbs to prevent it from sticking to the glass pie dish. Mix the melted chocolate with a little cream to thin it out a little so that it will not crack when you cut it once it is set.