So where to begin about banoffee pie. . . Hmmm . . . The first time I ever even heard of such a dessert (a banana (“ban”) toffee (“offee”) pie) was either on an airplane reading this article in food and wine or surfing the web and seeing this on design sponge. I can’t recall which came first. But I do remember that the combo of bananas, whipped cream, and toffee/caramel sounded mind-blowing and that making such a sweet moved to the top of the to-do list.
It’s always a little liberating making a dessert you’ve never even tasted before, but also a bit daunting. To me, the combo of elements in a banoffee pie sounded too-good-to-be-true (I mean, why is this dessert not on every menu and in every bakery?), but I also couldn’t exactly imagine how all the flavors would balance each other out. What would happen to those bananas squashed between toffee and whipped cream? Would their flavor get lost? Would the chocolate cookie crust I envisioned overpower them?
Peeps, I am here to tell you, my fears were for naught. The black bottom banoffee pie surpassed even my wildest expectations. Moreover, I went deep-dish on this here bad-boy (ie: extra thick layers of each component) and still the bananas shined, the toffee was soft and chewy and uber caramel-y, the whipped cream its perfect foil, and enveloping the whole thing in a crust of chocolate cookies? Sheer brilliance.
So brilliant, in fact, that I have made this black bottom banoffee pie weekly since before Christmas (no, not for my family and friends, but because it is served nightly at Grindhaus, a restaurant in red hook Brooklyn). I also made it for a new year’s eve dinner party of 20 to much acclaim (and my book club loved it, and my 12 year-old’s sax teacher). Long story short, you can’t go wrong here. The recipe is super easy and, besides waiting for the toffee to firm up, super fast as well (we’re talking a no-bake crust here, folks). And did I mention that it’s awfully delicious and beautiful to look at (at least to me) and that everyone loves it? Thought so.
Black Bottom (Deep-Dish) Banoffee Pie
For the no-bake chocolate cookie crust
- 1 1/2 packages nabisco chocolate wafers or a similar thin and crispy cookie
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter melted
For the toffee
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup Lyle's Golden Syrup or light corn syrup
- 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp Maldon sea salt
- 4 to 6 bananas very ripe
For the topping
- 2 cups heavy cream
To make the no-bake crust
- Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Place a round of parchment on the bottom of the pan and a strip of parchment along the sides. Spray the paper. set aside.
- Place the wafers and sugar in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the melted butter and process until combined. Scrape down bowl with a rubber spatula if needed. Transfer the crumbs to the prepared pan, an, using your fingers, or a one-cup dry measuring cup, press the crumbs evenly on the bottom of the pan and evenly up the sides. Place in the freezer for at least an hour.
To make the toffee
- Combine the sugar, butter, and Lyles in a medium, heavy-bottomed sauce pan and over medium to medium-high heat, and cook until the butter and sugar have melted. Off the heat, add the sweetened condensed milk, whisk to combine and return to the same heat, whisking constantly for about 6 to 10 minutes, until the mixture produces big bubbles (these can splatter, so be careful), thickens and darkens. The mixture may look curdled and you may have some brown bits swimming around your toffee. no worries. You'll strain the toffee prior to adding it to your crust.
- Once ready, remove the toffee from the heat and pour it through a sieve into a large mixing bowl, scraping the mixture with a rubber spatula to help it through the strainer. Add the vanilla and salt and mix to combine. Pour the toffee into the frozen crust-lined pan, and place in the refrigerator until the toffee is cold, about an hour or so.
- Slice the bananas into coins and layer them on top of the toffee.
- Whip the cream until it holds soft peeks. Using a large offset spatula, spread the cream evenly over the bananas and place in the refrigerator to set up, about a half an hour or so, or longer.
- Remove the outside of the pan and slip the pie off of the bottom (the parchment should make this fairly easy). slice and serve. Banoffee will keep in the fridge for at least 3 days.