In the early 2000s, shortly after that movie Love, Actually became a kind of holiday film phenomenon, the Wife and I took a trip to the UK. On her travel bucket list for our trip was to locate a slice of “Banoffee Pie” which was not something that had made it’s way over to Canada, but had been mentioned in passing in a scene of the movie.
Small ideas can drive life long adventure, and one of my stories of this is wrapped around a slice of banana and toffee pastry.
Banoffee Pie has some variation in it’s composition, but the basic recipe seems to be this: a graham cracker crust is painted with a generous slosh of dulce de leche (a kind of condensed-milk liquid toffee-equse bit of heaven in a can) filled with sliced bananas and topped with sweet whipped cream. It turns out it is amazing. Every time I make a banoffee pie it disappears with compliments and people asking what the hell was that and can I have the recipe?
Until recently, however, dulce de leche was not just something that was easy to come by. Sure, it can be made at home, but with some risk that involves the potential for explosions and minor kitchen destruction. Now, in Canada at least, it’s part of a very small product line by a company that also makes condensed milk — they just carmelize some of it and sell it as this nectar of the gods.
I was contemplating a banoffee pie the other day when inspiration struck. With another heat wave due this week, why not adapt my pie into a cooler treat, like, say, ice cream!
Recipe: Banoffee Swirl Ice Cream
2 cups, heavy cream
1 cup, milk
2/3 cup, granulated sugar
1/4 tsp, coarse salt
5 egg yolks
2 ripe bananas
1 tbsp, vanilla extract
75 grams, coarsely ground graham crackers
2/3 cup, dulce de leche
In a saucepan I combined the cream, milk, salt and sugar and heated to about 125F or until the sugar dissolved completely. Meanwhile, I separated the eggs from their yokes and combined the yokes with the bananas which I’d mashed as smoothly as I could with a small whisk. I tempered the egg/banana slurry with the hot cream mix, and then combined fully, pasturizing at about 170F in the saucepan.
Normally I’d filter this, but the banana mash was being removed by the wire screen mesh filter, so I skipped it and just transfered it to a container and then into the fridge. This was cooled for about 6 hours. I also put the can of dulce de leche in the fridge to bring the temperature down.
In the frozen ice cream attachment, I churned the chilled base. I could have stopped right there and this would have made some fantastic banana ice cream. Believe me... I sampled.
Instead, with a few minutes left in the churn, I added the graham crackers. Then, in stages, I alternately combined spatula-fulls of the ice cream and then spooned dollops of dulce de leche, folding it all together two or three times to make the swirl, all right in the freezer containers. Then into the freezer for the final chill.
The result tastes so close to banoffee pie, even aligning some of the textures with the crunch and the swirl, that even after just a few bites I’m debating, but I think this may be my preferred banoffee format. I think. Either that or I just invented the worlds most perfect ice cream flavor.