Monday, April 25, 2011

Banoffee Pie and a trip down memory lane...

Many of you know that my husband was in the Navy for 14 years and we were very fortunate to be stationed in London from October 1998 to October 2001. I talked a little bit about it in my Country Potato Salad post. It was a really amazing time in our lives and I will always treasure the memories of those years spent living there. We were so fortunate to be able to travel a lot while we were there. We went all around the U.K.. We traveled to Scotland, Wales, Isle of Wight and into Ireland and we also made it to France and Italy. I'm gonna share some pictures, but you'll have to forgive the quality because we didn't have a digital camera then. It was the dark ages.
This was my very first day in England (October 1998). Cold, rainy and blah.
 I wasn't so excited at first. I was pretty jet-lagged a
nd I had

 just realized that for the next 3 years I would have to specifically ask for ice in my glass whenever I ordered a drink.
The High Street (or Main Street as we call it in the U.S.)
in West Ruislip, where Gene was stationed.
 
Here we are at Hampton Court Palace - King Henry VIII's home. 
My husband still had hair then and apparently I managed to get a pretty good tan.
Stratford-Upon-Avon, where Shakespeare grew up.
At the Marine Corps Ball
At the Hard Rock Cafe. And yes, that is actually Jimi Hendrix's guitar I am holding.
On the London Eye in 2000.
Do y'all remember the whole Y2K debacle? So funny to think about it now.
So there you have it. I have so many more pictures I'd love to share but it would probably take up the whole blog. 
Maybe I can share some more in another post some other time.
Now let me get to the recipe. Banoffee Pie is one of those desserts I think of when I think of England. This recipe was given to me by my neighbor, Barbara, when we first moved there. We were living in a small bungalow in Northwood (located in Middlesex).
The name Banoffee is just a combination of the words, banana and toffee.
If you've never tried Banoffee Pie before then you really don't know what you're missing.
 It is such a great combination of flavors and folks always ask me for the recipe after they give it a try.
Ingredients:
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk (14 Oz)
1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust (Instructions For Homemade Below)
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
3 teaspoons Powdered Sugar
½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2  Large Bananas
1 Tablespoon Chocolate Shavings Or Chocolate Sprinkles

Homemade Graham Crust:
1-½ cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
10 Tablespoons Softened Butter


Directions:
To make toffee filling: In a large, covered pot, boil can of unopened sweetened condensed milk for 4 hours (yep, you read that right - 4 hours). The can must be completely submerged in water the entire time. Allow the can to cool completely before use.

For the crust: Prepare a homemade graham cracker crust by mixing the graham cracker crumbs with softened butter and press mixture into 8-inch pie plate. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 5 to 8 minutes. Or save yourself a little time by using a store bought pie crust.

For the whipped cream: Whip heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla together until stiff peaks form.

To prepare: Once crust and toffee have cooled, spread the toffee filling into the pie crust. Slice bananas and layer on top of the filling. Spread whipped cream on top of bananas and sprinkle with chocolate shavings or chocolate sprinkles.

Cook’s note: This is a pretty rich dessert so serve in relatively small slices. Also, I've been told that the cans of premade Dulce De Leche make a good substitute for boiling cans of sweetened condensed milk. I have never taste-tested it so I'm not exactly sure. 
When I first posted this recipe on TastyKitchen, some of the members expressed concern over the safety of boiling cans for 4 hours. My only answer to that concern would be that I have made this numerous times over the past 12 years, without incident. Barbara, who taught me this recipe, had been making it for 40 years before me, also without incident. Just make sure you periodically check your water levels in your pot. The cans need to stay submerged, so add additional water as necessary and water just needs to stay at a gentle rolling boil. Also, boil extra cans when you do this. That way when you want to make it again in the future, you already have a can, in the pantry, ready to go!

Enjoy!



30 comments :

Patti said...

How lucky you were to do all that traveling. I always wanted to visit England! The pie sounds delish!

Pretend Chef said...

Those are such great memories to have. Lucky to have been able to have traveled as much as you did. That pie sounds really delicious. I love bananas. Yummy!

Rowena said...

What a great post! Isn't it nice to go down memory lane...sometimes...all the time...

Kate said...

Love the trip down memory lane and this pie looks delicious! Thanks for sharing! (Love the pictures too!)

Sandra said...

Thank you so much for sharing your memories with us! I love your photos!
And recipe is just awesome...I can imagine that it is very tasty!

Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels said...

Thanks for sharing your photos with us! :) I've neve had this pie before. I'll have to make it sometime. :)

CHeryl and Adam @ pictureperfectmeals.com said...

London is such a wonderful city! Adam grew up there and loves your memories; they remind him of how own life there. His brother still lives there so we are lucky enough to get back frequently. NOT for the wedding though! It'll be a madhouse! My mother-in-law is having a Royal Wedding party to watch the whole thing on her enormous TV starting at 4 am. This will make a nice addition to their breakfast!

Mama J said...

This looks SO good!

Holly said...

Awww, so neat Bran! Love the pictures, and too funny about the ice. When my Mom and sis went to England it drove my Mom crazy that they didnt serve drinks with ice! lol This pie looks SCRUMPTIOUS!! MMmm.. and BTW.. Congrats on winning Mandys Easter Giveaway!! LUCKY DUCK!! : )

Lacey said...

That looks delicious! I hope to visit London during our tour in Europe. You will have to tell me a few places I MUST visit before we head over the big ocean.

Kimberly said...

Such sweet memories!! Just think of all the stories you have from all your time stationed all over the globe? I remember when I went to London several years ago, our first day was similar to yours, in fact it rained almost our whole time there! haha!

Love the pie! I too am so excited for this wedding... hopefully I can watch it some time other than 4am... lol!

Siggy Spice said...

What a fabulous recipe!!! OMGracious, it sounds just heavenly :)

Major Mom said...

Very cool you're in Household 6's cooking club. I follow her blog...

Dave's been asking for Europe his ENTIRE career to no avail. He's now just about "too old" to get sent over there as a weather man for the USAF.

At least we got to spend time in Asia...

Lizzy said...

Oh, my!!! I think this pie combines some of my and my husband's favorite flavors! I will have to try this wonderful treat.

Brandie, so fun seeing some of your old photos...and hearing your adventures. Please share some more :)

Candace said...

I love this post! It was so fun to walk down memory lane with you and share your special time across the pond. I would love to see more. Your pie looks delicious. I would love to give that a try. Yum!

scratch-made wife said...

Ha! Your first-day-in-London photo looks just about how I looked when my momma and I took my grandmomma to London. I studied abroad in Ireland and was absolutely fine with the climate, but for some reason I was freezing - in March! - when we visited London years later. Funny. Your travels sound amazing. And your pie looks good, too. :)

spcookiequeen said...

I love all your photos, I'd love to go there one day. I still remember Charles & Diana's wedding, guess that makes me old. I have never had Banoffee pie, but it sounds like I would love it.
-Gina-

Allison Hillberry said...

What a fun read! Love the pics! This recipe sounds sooo yummy thanks for sharing :)

Muriel Miller said...

What a fun post! I Love all the pictures! You were so lucky to live in the UK for a few years and travel all over while you were there! What a neat experience! Your pie looks delicious!!!

Rosemary said...

Loved reading this post and looking at your pictures. Thanks for sharing your memories and the pie! I visited London once and would have loved to stay longer, (but I really don't recall any food I fell in love with!)

The Country Cook said...

Thank you so much for all your incredibly sweet comments!! I really appreciate y'all bearing with me as I shared some memories :)
Lacey, when you visit England, make sure to let me know!!

Elyse @The Cultural Dish said...

Aw I just became nostalgic myself after seeing your photos... I traveled to London last year and absolutely loved it! I also had my first experience with Banoffee Pie there! :)

Mrs Sea Monster said...

Yum! Thanks for sharing all the memories too. :)

Veronica Gantley said...

What a wonderful pie. Tim and I went to London on our Honeymoon. I will make this pie soon and let you know.

LAS8704 said...

My husband would love this!! I'll file it away for something new to make him for a treat someday. Thanks for sharing!

Give Peas A Chance said...

YUM

apple blossom said...

just wanted to let you know the printable recipe does not come up as this Banoffee Pie

The Country Cook said...

Thank you so much for noticing that. I have it corrected now! :o)

Sandy Smith said...

You can cook the sweetened condensed milk in the crock pot for 8 hours and then remove and let cool. I do this so if there is incident then no will suffer from it...LOL.

lpbh25 said...

What do you find that you miss about the US? I bet you find it difficult getting hold of some US products in the UK. My only trip to the US was over 20 years ago; I would love to go again. I would love to spend an hour in one of your supermarkets just browsing; sad, I know. I love the look of your minestrone soup, by the way. Kind regards.