If you’ve never heard of Banoffee Pie, be prepared to discover your new favorite dessert. My favorite dessert flavor combination of all time is chocolate and banana, so when I had my first bite of Banoffee years ago, I was an instant fan. Banoffee Pie is an English tradition of pie with bananas, cream and toffee made from boiled condensed milk. Most versions I’ve tried have chocolate drizzled on top or built into the pie, but it’s not required if you’d prefer to stick to the banana-toffee combo. One of my favorite versions comes from a restaurant on the border of the Lower East Side and Chinatown in Manhattan, The Fat Radish.
Run by Ben Towill and Phil Winser along with chef Nick Wilber, The Fat Radish is something of a mecca for health-conscious eaters who love food. They serve a Macro Bowl that is a favorite of just about everyone I know these days, but I tend to be drawn toward their sweeter offerings. This pie is a great example and is one of the many delicious recipes from their debut cookbook, The Fat Radish Kitchen Diaries. Julia co-authored the cookbook with Ben and Phil and I had the pleasure of trying just about every recipe in this book during the process, but this pie was at the very top of my list. Whether you’re looking for something special and unexpected to bring to a holiday party or just want to try something new at home, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. xo, grace
Photographs by Nicole Franzen
Excerpted from The Fat Radish Kitchen Diaries, Rizzoli 2014, Photographs by Nicole Franzen.
Banoffee pie is basically what happens when a banana bumps into toffee and then, together, they collide with a chocolate pastry crust and clouds of whipped cream. As the story goes, it was invented in a pub in Sussex called The Hungry Monk in 1972. We fell in love with it at home in England and, luckily, our American customers love it too.
Makes 1 pie
-8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
-¼ cup icing sugar
-2 egg yolks
-½ teaspoon vanilla extract
-1 cup flour
-¼ cup cocoa powder
-¼ teaspoon salt
-½ cup sugar
-4 tablespoons unsalted butter
-1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
-3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
-2 cups heavy cream, whipped
-½ cup coarsely grated dark chocolate
For the crust, place the butter and icing sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks and the vanilla extract. Fold in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Press the dough into a pie pan. Prick the surface all over with a fork and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
Bake the crust in a 350ºF oven until it’s firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
While the crust is cooling, place the filling ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring now and then, until the mixture forms a thick caramel, about 20 minutes. Pour the filling into the tart crust and let it cool to room temperature. Top with the sliced bananas, spread the whipped cream over the bananas, and finish with the grated chocolate. Refrigerate the pie for at least an hour before slicing and serving.