Banoffee What?

Anyone know the movie “Love Actually”?  For the few of you that may not know it, it’s a 2003 romantic comedy with a bevy of English actors.  It intertwines eight, varying stories of love during Christmas..

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Some of my girlfriends and I can probably act out the movie for you, but I would highly recommend watching the original, not that we wouldn’t be entertaining but we may not give it its true justice.

Not all of the story lines end happily, such as the story of unrequited love of a guy with his best friend’s wife.  There’s a moment in the movie where Keira Knightly (object of guy’s affection but married to the best friend guy) asks guy played by Andrew Lincoln, if she can look through the video that he took of their wedding cause her wedding video didn’t turn out well.  In an effort of self preservation he gives her the impression that he really can’t stand her.  Keira shows up at his door with…Banoffee Pie to ask him if she can look through his videos and be friends with him.

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There is way more to this story and all of the others in the movie but the important part here is…Banoffee Pie.  For years, my American self and friends were puzzled by what is a Banoffee Pie?  We couldn’t even figure out how to spell it or imagine what was in it?  It sounded made up, a fictitious pie altogether!

But, with the magic of the interwebs, I looked up several recipes and attempted a simple one.

Once I knew that the pie was toffee and banana, hence Banoffee, I wasn’t sure that combo sounded delicious to me?  I decided to make it for friends and to test it at a recent trip to Palm Springs.  (And yes, we were back in Palm Springs again!)

It’s a pretty simple recipe that I cut corners on cause I was in Palm Springs and lacking supplies like a pie pan and a double boiler.

Ingredients

4 bananas

1 graham cracker pie crust.  You can definitely make your own with graham crackers and melted butter but I didn’t have a pie pan.  I decided to buy the premade pie crust already in a pie tin.

1 can sweetened condensed milk  (note:  there’s another version where you boil the can of sweetened condensed milk without stirring and labor, but I’ll have to try that next.  It sounded like a magic method and I didn’t trust it but I’ll attempt it with the next pie)

heavy whipping cream and sugar to taste

I started by slicing three of the bananas and layering them in the pre-made pie crust.  Then I found two pots that I could improvise as a double boiler.  I placed water in the bottom pot and brought to a boil while I had the condensed milk in the second pan, stirring constantly.  You want the condensed milk to get thicker.  It’s obviously the toffee portion of the pie.  My double boiler didn’t seem to be doing the trick so at some point I just eliminated the water pot but my toffee was lumpy and had problems for sure.  Since I was convinced that this was a throw away pie and it was just to appease a very long obsession with the “made up pie” in the movie, I decided lumps were acceptable!

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So, I thickened the condensed milk to the best of its ability in my borrowed Palm Springs kitchen and poured it over the bananas in the pie crust.  It still didn’t appeal to me and I didn’t take pics of too much of the process cause I was a disbeliever in Banoffee Pie.

Next, I whipped the heavy whipping cream and added some sugar.  I didn’t add a ton of sugar as the toffee and bananas were already very sweet.  I also only had raw sugar which was pretty granulated so there was texture for this whipped cream, haha.  All in all, I was executing a pretty bad pie at this point with brown bananas, lumpy toffee and gritty whipped cream in a store bought graham cracker crust.  Yum!

I decided to just put the whipped cream on top, garnish it with sliced bananas from that fourth banana and cover it up and present it for dessert later as just a joke for the movie reference.

I knew the pie would create excitement from my friends that knew the movie, but I came armed with the disclaimer that we can try it but let’s not think we’re going to like it!  I had low expectations.

The pie presentation was a hit!  Everyone was impressed that I attempted the unknown movie pie and was eager to try this concoction.  I had guinea pigs.

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I sliced into it and served small servings due to my lack of confidence in this creation.  As we ate it, I didn’t detect the toffee lumps or anything wrong with it?  It was surprisingly and happily delicious!  Who knew that Banoffee Pie was sooooo good?  We Americans had no idea what we were missing out on?  As the rest of our party showed up through the weekend, each partook in a slice and each one ended up liking it.  Comments such as “This is how I want banana cream pie to taste” and “My new favorite pie” solidified that I will be making this pie again.  I might try the pie with a crust from scratch and use an actual double boiler next time.  There weren’t any leftovers of this one!

I think the upcoming holiday season just became a bit sweeter for me as I’ll be watching Love Actually and making Banoffee Pie!