Banoffee pie!

Banoffee pie! It’s hard to talk about banoffee pie without using exclamation points! Banoffee pie may just be my favorite type of pie! And I’ve made some.

Banoffee pie can be a calorie bomb, so when I was planning for this one, I was kind of searching for lower-calorie/healthier variations but the thing about banoffee pie is that if you sacrifice too much, you’re not going to be enjoying banoffee pie for what it is – using lighter cream just isn’t as good, and if there’s a substitute for caramel, I’m not sure I want to meet it. But anyway, I settled on this recipe which I figured was the “lightest” version possible while still staying true to the beauty of banoffee pie. Actually, the best way to make banoffee healthier and lighter is really just to use the same ingredients, but less of them.

So when I’ve made banoffee pie before, I did it with turning sweetened condensed milk into caramel, which can be done a few ways – one way is described in the linked recipe, but the easiest way I found was the “keeping the whole sealed can submerged in a boiling pan of water for a couple hours” method, which was much much easier than I was expecting after previous failed attempts at making caramel, though you do have to keep a close eye on it and make sure the water doesn’t boil off so much that the can becomes exposed. This time I actually had a can of Carnation’s premade “Cooking with Caramel” stuff, which is the cheaters way out but I was gifted with it and the fact that I had it was the whole reason I decided to make banoffee this time.

As for other ingredients, I’ve seen recipes with graham cracker crumbs or digestive biscuits for the crust, and I can’t remember what I did before, but this time I used graham crackers which is a bit lighter than digestives, but not by much. I think one of the calorie savors of this recipe is only using 3 tbsp of butter for the crust, which does help (I saw one with 10 tbsp!) but I think the crust would hold together better with more butter. In any case, I think I ended up using less crust ingredients, less caramel, less banana, and less cream than is required of most banoffee recipes, and still ended up with a delicious, satisfying pie, so. I mean, this still isn’t a healthy dish by any means, but, sometimes we just gotta enjoy ourselves, am I right?

So you can buy graham cracker crumbs, apparently, but I’ve never seen them so I just crushed up whole crackers with my food processor, using 5 or 6 and ending up with 100g of graham crumbs. Here are my prepped crumbs and my crust after blending with butter and baking:

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It felt very crumbly and loose when pressing down before baking (might use more butter next time) and more solid afterwards, but I still had to be quite careful and gentle while spreading out the layer of caramel (once the crust had cooled), because I could feel it was going to be broken up and lifted out in places. And here’s my caramel layer with the start of the banana layer, and then the full banana layer (I ended up using not the full can of caramel sauce – weighed it out to 300g, and used two medium/large bananas that came to 260g – most banoffee recipes seem to call for 4 bananas, which seems excessive to me!):

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Using only half a cup of whipping cream is definitely less than your typical banoffee recipe, and it did spread quite thin, but personally I like my banoffee for the caramel, the bananas, and the crust/cream, in that order, and I don’t need much cream. I am always amazed when I whip cream at how it goes from liquidy to thick and fluffy without adding anything; it seems to defy physics. Here is my whipped cream – fluffy but not pretty – on its own and in the finished product.

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And here’s my banoffee once sliced up – you can see how the crust did fall apart a bit and leave some in the pan, but I scooped that out to use as a little extra crumble topping on a couple slices!

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Yay, banoffee pie!

Nutrition facts if sliced into 8 even slices, using my specific ingredients and measurements:

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And, of course, since I bought a whole box of graham crackers to only use a few, and had some marshmallows left over from making rocky road a couple weeks ago, and naturally always have some chocolate around, it was the perfect excuse for s’mores! (not pictured, went into my belly too fast)

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