Bonkers for Banoffee

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A friend of mine is moving to Singapore later this week so naturally I wanted to make her something special for her farewell dinner. I’ve always wanted to make a Banoffee pie but I’ve never really mastered the whole home-made caramel thing, so I was always a bit worried to try a dessert where the main component was caramel. Here in Australia, Banoffee isn’t a very popular dessert so the first time I tried it was on holidays in Malta and I absolutely loved it! My sister is also a huge fan of it (probably a bit more then me) and to be honest I can’t blame her, I mean who could resist crumbly, buttery pastry filled with rich caramel, fresh banana and topped with meringue! I knew this was the perfect dessert to try out, especially after I read about a very interesting way to make caramel (involving condensed milk and boiling water!)

I decided to use the same pastry recipe that I used in my fruit mince pies but this time I halved the quantities. Alternatively you could also use crushed granita biscuits mixed with melted butter but I really like the texture and crumbly-ness of this recipe. If you’ve got the time then I’d recommend it. You’ll need to start the process early though as you’ll need 3 hours plus to make the caramel (trust me its so worth it! the caramel is a thick, rich, sweet consistency that I’ve never achieved before). I also decided to change the shape from a regular round pie shape to a tart shape, either way will still be delicious! Give this a go and enjoy, you wont be disappointed!!

What you’ll need:

Pastry:

1 1/4 cups plain flour

1/4 cup icing sugar

1/4 cup almond meal

1tsp baking powder

80g cold butter

1 egg

1/2tsp vanilla essence

1TBS cold water

Caramel:

1 tin condensed milk

Meringue:

2 Egg whites

1/2 cup sugar

Extra:

1 large banana

2 tsp cocoa powder

 

What I did:

1. Fill a large pot with water and place your tin of condensed milk inside (IMPORTANT: Make sure that the pot is deep enough for the tin to be completely submerged in water the entire time. If it comes uncovered, the tin will explode. You will need to keep checking on it and top up the water as it needs). Bring it to the boil and leave to boil for 3 hours

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 (yes thats right 3 hours). Once its done leave it to cool completely before you open it. It will look like this >

2. In a processor, combine the flour, icing sugar, almond meal, baking powder and butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add your vanilla, egg and water and process until it forms a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed lightly before wrapping in cling wrap and pop it into the fridge for 20mins.Image

3.  Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry on a well floured surface (to about 0.5cm thick) and lay into your prepared baking dish. Cover it with a piece of baking powder and fill with baking beans/rice. Bake for 15mins or until slightly golden in colour. Remove from the oven and cool completely. 

4. Once cooled, remove the beans from the tart shell and fill with the caramel. Sprinkle cocoa powder over the top and top with sliced banana.

5. Using an electric beater, beat your egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gradually add your sugar until it no longer feels grainy and makes stiff peaks when you lift the beaters out of it. Spread the meringue mixture over the top of your tart and then pop it back into the oven. Bake for about 10minutes but be sure to keep an eye on it as the meringue can colour quite quickly. If it starts to burn on top then turn the heat down to about 150 degrees.

6. Refrigerate for about 30mins before serving and enjoy!!

So rich, so yummy! You might want to cut it into slightly smaller pieces then you would normally as it is very sweet!!

Enjoy! 

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