Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hump-Day Quickie: Banoffee Pie

We at A Book of Cookrye have regularly fielded the question Do we ever make anything recent? Ever? Well, today we're going to! We present... Banoffee pie!

Banoffee Pie
1 or 2 14-oz cans condensed milk*
2-3 bananas
1 baked pie crust, graham cracker or regular

Boil the unopened cans of condensed milk on their sides for 2-3 hours, making sure they are always completely submerged in the water. With some recipes it would mess things up, but for this you can just dump cold water in to top it up. (Use a really deep pot so you don't have to obsessively check the water level every 5 minutes.) While it's boiling, make a pie crust and bake it. (You'll want to bake it even if you go with a graham cracker one). When the milk is done, cool it immersed in water lest the cans pop open (you can hurry this by putting them in ice water). Slice the bananas and lay them in the crust. Pour/spread the condensed milk on top. You can put whipped cream, chocolate, fruit, or whatever on top if you like.

*One can will spread kind of thinly over the bananas, two will completely cover them. Pick whichever sounds better to you.

Can you drop something in boiling water?
Behold, the next two or three hours.

This isn't the first time I've seen people boiling condensed milk into cajeta. The Around-The-World Cookbook from Pan-Am Airways has a recipe for cajeta that involves stirring a pot of milk and sugar for hours until browned, as is the traditional way. A note under the recipe says that in many households people just boil a can of condensed milk instead. It may not be quite the same, but the last time I tried it the hard way, literally all the water boiled away and I was stirring a pot of powder.

If you share a kitchen, you may need to leave a note because people don't understand someone apparently abandoning an unopened can in boiling water for most of the night.

I actually found it quite odd this was invented in the UK. Cajeta and bananas both come from the Americas, so why did it take someone across the Atlantic to put them together?
You may be thinking "Two to three hours!?", but since all you have to do once it's on the stove is dump in water every half hour or so (assuming you're using a deep pot), you can just leave it and go about your other business. Or, if you're already doing a lot of cooking, just get it on the stove at the beginning. I let it go while I got caught up on a lot of homework.

I did not have the patience after it came off the stove.

If you cool them in ice water, you can freak out your friends. Since the outside of the can will cool off first while the center stays really hot, you can lift the apparently cold can out of the water, hand it to someone, and tell them to shake it. It'll go from cold to really hot in their hand in seconds. Incidentally, you can also tell it's cool enough to take out of the water and open without worrying about scalding milk splatters when you shake it and it doesn't get warm.
Aw, yeah.

As it's cooling, you can get out your best cutting board and slice the bananas.
...using your handy-dandy combination pie slicer, cake server, and tea strainer.

As you can see, one can just barely covers it. If you want the bananas completely coated, you'll want to boil two.

As it is, it comes off looking like a sort-of... I don't know. But it's good. I was kind of swarmed with people once word got out.
So... good....


  1. Boiling unopened cans is supposed to be really dangerous. I remember years ago having to glue replacement pages over the danger-filled ones in dozens of a popular cookbook.

    1. Yeah, I found lots and lots of triple-underlined warnings to NEVER LET THE WATERLINE GET BELOW THE CAN!!!, which is why I used such a big pot. It was the only one that was really deep. What were you making?