cartoon by marc johns.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Banoffee Pie - Banana and Toffee Pie

What is banoffee pie, you may ask?  It is a delicious banana and caramel (or technically dulce de leche) pie.  It is called "banoffee" because it is short for a banana and toffee combination (although as I said before it is actually dulce de leche and not toffee).  It is a common type of pie in the UK, where it was created, but most Americans have never heard of it.  This is a travesty, I say!  The combination of banana, graham cracker, dulce de leche, and whipped cream is delightful.  It is sweet, but not overly so, and the bananas make it seem like at least this dessert is sort of healthful.  This is an awesome dessert to make for company - it is easy and most people have not heard of or experienced this delicious pie, so you get to be the one to introduce it to people!
The way to make the dulce de leche is really easy and very cool.  All you do is boil a can of sweetened condensed milk for hours and it becomes this really delicious thick brown sauce.  When I make it, I boil a couple of cans at a time and store them for later use.  The sauce is very good in pies and brownies, or on top of ice cream (or sometimes, I confess, I just eat it straight out of the can).


3 large bananas
1 can of sweetened condensed milk (you can buy canned dulce de leche, but it isn't as yummy.)
1 tub of cool whip (you can also make your own whipped cream, but I am lazy.)
1 pre-made graham cracker pie crust (you can also make your own graham cracker crust, but I am lazy.)

1.  The first step is by far the longest (and most dangerous).  Take the label off of the sweetened condensed milk can and place it in a pot of boiling water.  The longer you boil it, the darker and more delectable the dulce de leche will be, but I recommend 2 1/2 - 3 hours.  This is the dangerous part - you CANNOT, under any circumstances - let the water level in the pot not completely cover the can.  Feel free to add extra water during the boiling time to make sure the can is not exposed.  If the can is not fully submerged in the boiling water, it will explode.  Not only will an explosion like that be extremely messy and potentially damaging to your kitchen, but if you or someone is in the kitchen at the time, it could be really dangerous.  Now that I have made a big deal about it, as long as you use a big pot and keep the lid on, all you have to do is monitor the can, and it is likely that you won't even need to add extra water to the pot.

Can in water.
2.  After the allotted time, remove the pan of boiling water (with the can still in it) away from the heat.  Allow the water to cool a bit and then remove the can. Another warning: do not open the can until it has cooled to the touch or an explosion could occur (I wait about 1/2 to 1 hour).  

Can removed from water and cooling down.
3.  In the meantime, slice the bananas and put them in the pie crust.  (Don't do this step too early or the bananas will brown while you are waiting for the can of dulce de leche to cool).

Bananas in the pie crust.
4.  Open the can of dulce de leche.  Allow the dulce to cool a little bit.

Dulce de Leche!
5.  Pour the dulce de leche on top of the bananas.  

Mouth-Watering Close Up.
6.  Cover the dulce de leche with the Cool Whip.

7.  Put the pie in the refrigerator to firm up.  Serve cold.  Makes 1 pie.  Enjoy!

Layers of Flavor.
Recipe adapted from Brooklyn Limestone.


  1. Can this be made up the night before and kept in the fridge? I need it for a lunch at 11am and i really do not want to get up at 6am to start it!

    1. Yes. You can certainly make the whole pie early and just refrigerate overnight, or do just the dulce de leche the day ahead and make the pie day-of. Either works fine.


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