So what did I end up doing with all that luscious dulce de leche? My officemate’s birthday was coming up, so what better way to celebrate than with caramel, bananas, and whipped cream? Thus, birthday banoffee pie was born. You might be asking yourself, “what the heck is banoffee pie?” It’s an English dessert, actually. Bananas and toffee (get it? Ban-offee?), in this case dulce de leche, topped with heaping mounds of whipped cream. I’d seen people writing about banoffee pie for a while. And honestly, just the thought of it made my teeth ache! I actually don’t have much of a sweet tooth (despite evidence to the contrary). Salty snacks are in serious danger around me, but boxes of cookies will languish in my pantry for months. Not that I don’t crave sweets sometimes, but a bite will do me just fine, thank you. Now that I have a whole can of dulce de leche, what’s a girl to do? A birthday celebration is the perfect chance to debut banoffee pie and my rousing success with homemade dulce de leche. First, who doesn’t love caramel on their birthday? Second, I’m bringing it into work, so I know I won’t have banoffee pie languishing in the back of my fridge after I satisfy my sugar craving.
I thought I would give the banoffee pie a little twist, just to make it a little more special, a little more grown up, and a little less sweet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still bloody sweet! Just not as rip-your-teeth-out sweet.
I opted for the lazy route of using a premade crust because although I know a graham cracker crust is dead simple to make, but I wanted a disposable pan to bring to work and I love the genius of turning the plastic cover over and using it as a domed pie cover. Brilliant!
I originally planned to use a chocolate graham cracker crust, but unfortunately, couldn’t find a pre-made chocolate crust at the store. I could have sworn they made them! So sad. Next time, I’m definitely trying the homemade chocolate crust at home. For that special little twist, I decided to make an orange zest whipped cream with a touch of mascarpone cheese. I completely cut out the sugar because the dulce de leche will be plenty sweet! The orange zest really helps cut the rich caramel and gives you that bright citrus note that just elevates the whole pie. From there, it’s dead simple. Layer pie crust with dulce de leche, a tiny sprinkle of sea salt, sliced bananas, then top with orange whipped cream. This one’s definitely making it into the regular rotation of celebration desserts!
Birthday Banoffee Pie
1 pre-made 9-inch graham cracker pie crust
2 jumbo bananas (or 3 smallish bananas), sliced (about ¼-inch)
About 2/3 batch dulce de leche (if you’re taking it out of the fridge, microwave for about 10 seconds to warm it up so that it’s more easily spreadable)
1 batch orange mascarpone whipped cream (see below for recipe)
Fill the bottom of graham cracker crust with about 2/3 of a batch of dulce de leche. Using an offset spatula (or back of a spoon or whatever you have), spread the caramel to the edges of the pie crust. If you had to microwave the dulce de leche, make sure that the dulce de leche layer is cool before adding the banana slices. Arrange the banana slices all over the top of the dulce de leche layer. Spread the bananas in a relatively even, but you don’t have to make it too pretty. Dollop the whipped cream over top and, using a clean offset spatula, gently spread the whipped cream to the edges of the pie. Cover and refrigerate the pie for about 30 minutes so that the dulce de leche firms up. Serve.
Orange Mascarpone Whipped Cream
(Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup whipping cream, cold
1 teaspoon orange zest
In a large mixing bowl, whip mascarpone and orange juice until well blended and silky. There should be no lumps. Add the whipped cream and orange zest. Whip until the cream forms soft peaks. For me, this took about 2 minutes, or so. Just be careful that the cream holds peaks, but is not overwhipped and curdled looking.