Banoffee Pie (Banana Caramel Pie)

Have you noticed how much friendlier people have gotten when you’re out walking around? Much to the embarrassment of my kids, I’ve always been a “waver” but now when I see friends or acquaintances or even total strangers, everyone has a huge smile and a wave. It’s like we are collectively saying “Hi! I haven’t been inside with you all day and you’re probably not going to ask me to feed you or complain about your sibling and you’re obviously well and out enjoying the sunshine and HELLO!!” I think everyone, even the introverts, are missing their daily connections.

My friend April writes an amazing Christian blog. Her latest post is “Social Distancing does not equal Isolation” (except she figured out how to make the “does not equal” into a single keyboard character, showing her advanced knowledge of all things blogging… but I digress.) She talks about how physical distance doesn’t have to mean emotional distance from our friends and communities.

For me, that’s meant a lot of Zooming with students (and former students) as far away as Germany, and tonight, even my book club is going virtual. My family group text buzzes with images of nieces and nephews, and I’ve called friends both far and near more times than I have in years. Even this blog is seeing more activity as I try to connect through stories and recipes — and speaking of that, back to the pie.

April is also a HUGE fan of the Olympics. In 2012, she invited us all over for the Opening Ceremonies before the London games. Although I had enjoyed banana caramel pie for years, that night April introduced me to one of my all-time favorite portmanteaus (when you elide two words, like brunch or hangry or spork). Banana toffee (banoffee) pie — sliced bananas and soft caramel, topped with whipped cream and crunchy toffee.

Ingredients:

  • 1 baked and cooled pie shell
  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
  • 4-5 bananas, sliced thin
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 toffee bar (Heath or similar) chopped, for garnish

Procedure:

  • Prepare the millk: Remove the paper from the cans of milk, but leave the cans sealed. Place them in your largest pot and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil and boil for 3 hours, replinishing water as it evaporates. This is largely hands-off, but don’t forget about it (one of my other friends calls this “danger pie” for this very reason — apparently, the cans can explode if left unattended, so don’t do that). Hint: you can boil more cans this way and save the caramel sauce for other purposes.
  • After 3 hours, remove the cans from the water and allow them to cool (but the caramel should still be warm if you want it to pour evenly. You can also reheat it in the microwave, but take it out of the can for this!).
  • Slice the bananas thin. Layer the bananas and the caramel in the pie shell.
  • Meanwhile, whip the cream and sweeten it with the sugar. Top the pie with the cream.
  • Sprinkle with the chopped toffee bar, chill, and serve to those you love!

Enjoy, and reach out to someone today! Hugs!

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