The Lazy Man’s Banoffee Pie

by Laura on May 27, 2012

While my Honey Girl and I were on our way from Connemara to Dublin to see my Sweet Boy’s choir perform at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in April, the kind of trip that breezes past, carried by enthusiasm for the event to come, we desperately needed to stop.  As we were driving through a nameless town, I spotted one of Georgina Campbell’s seal of approval stickers in the window of an otherwise unpromising coffee shop, and there was a parking spot directly in front.  I swerved the car in and said, “I’ll order tea.”  We had been on the lookout for banoffee pie all week, but it seemed it would be on the list of things missed and carried forward for our next visit.  It wasn’t on a single menu.  Until I sat down at a little table on this last day of our trip and, above me on a small chalkboard, spied the special of the day: Banoffee Pie.  I ordered a piece and a pot of tea for myself and a hot chocolate for my Honey Girl.  We dug in and silence soon followed.  We were both thinking it: Where-have-you-been-all-my-life?  You know, the kind of first bite that makes you shudder a little, makes you grab another bite quickly because you can’t quite believe how good it is?  I found myself thinking about how far we Americans have strayed in the banana cream pie department.  This was so much better: just to the edge of cloyingly sweet, but hanging on, and incredibly creamy.  I was making it in my head by about bite four: a simple baked biscuit crust, probably crushed plain digestive biscuits mixed with butter and sugar, a layer of toffee cream, simple enough to make by boiling a can (or six) of sweetened condensed milk, a couple of bananas sliced over top, and a loft of barely sweetened whipped cream and grated dark chocolate.  Yes, if taste memory serves me correctly, this is exactly it.  It’s so easy to make that the cosmic math seems off.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carolyn May 28, 2012 at 11:54 am

Oh THAT brings back memories! Too bad I didn’t know of your quest (I’ve just started following your site). I have a “bannofepaj” recipe from my days living in Sweden. Pretty much your exact recipe! My husband still brings up the topic every once in a while hoping I’ll make one! There is nothing better than the creamy toffee-ness made from boiled condensed milk. Maybe this is a sign!!! :)

2 Ann Olszewski May 28, 2012 at 1:29 pm

I have heard and read about this Irish specialty, but never as clearly as here with the helpful illustrations. Could a jar of Dulce de Leche be substituted for the homemade toffee cream?

3 Laura May 29, 2012 at 10:52 am

Yes, absolutely. I think that would be equally delicious.

4 Laura May 29, 2012 at 10:54 am

You’re so sweet. Thank you.

5 kris jacobson May 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm

oh wow. this seems like something i would completely adore.

6 James December 14, 2013 at 8:59 am

Sorry to spoil everyones thoughts thats its Irish, but it was invented y an english chef in the 70′s – IF you follow his recipe you’ll se that there is no chocolate on top but rather a light sprinkling of coffee as this cuts through the richness of the other ingredients, try it, such a little thing makes a huge difference.

7 Laura December 16, 2013 at 8:15 pm

James, Thank you for the information. I’ll try the coffee next time I make it.

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