Banoffee pie

One of our favorite restaurants in Hong Kong was called Jaspa's. I guess one of the reasons we liked it was that they served European style food, very similar to what we sometimes make at home, making it a nice break from the, albeit delicious, wontons, BBQ pork, dim sum and various noodle and rice dishes we otherwise ate.

Jaspas also hade the most delicious banoffee pie:

Now, after a while you might see something wrong with this picture. The plate and the glasses all look proportional, but that piece of cake on the plate... it's huge. We made the mistake of ordering one desert each the first time we went there. The next time we asked to share. Something I really loved about eating out in Hong Kong was the prevalence of "family style eating" when you order a couple of dishes for the table and then share. This wasn't done only in Chinese restaurants, but seemed okay everywhere. Our favorite Italian place (seriously, if you're ever in Hong Kong, have the homemade salsiccia with polenta at Grappa's in Pacific Place) would even serve one salad on two plates, and you were only charged for one portion. Such a great concept!

But I digress. Back to banoffee pie, this extremely sweet and gooey desert that I guess you either love or hate. We got bananas in our organic produce box this week, and when they had gotten too ripe to be eaten as is, we decided to put them in a banoffee pie. Now ours didn't look much like Jaspa's as it was about one third of the height of theirs, but the taste was damn close. We decided to add some meringue batter to the whipped cream to make it hold its shape better and make it fluffier.

There is no baking involve in making this pie, but you do need to boil the can of condensed milk for at least two hours and there is chilling time as well, so make it well in advance.

Banoffee pie

8-10 servings

1 can (397 g) condensed milk
250 g Digestive biscuits (graham crackers)
100 g butter
5 small bananas, or 3 bigger ones
2 dl cream
Merengue batter (see here), half of the volume of the whipped cream
Sifted cocoa powder for decoration

Place the can of condensed milk (unopened!) in a pot of boiling water. Boil for at least two hours, refilling the pot with boiling water as necessary. The water should cover the can of milk.
Meanwhile, make the crust. Crush the biscuits, either by hand or using a mixer with blade. Melt the butter, and add to the crumbs. Get a springform about 25 cm in diameter, and press the crumbs into the pan to form the crust. Cover with foil and let it set in the fridge while the milk is boiling.
When the milk has boiled in the water bath for at least two hours, get the can out and let it cool for a while so that you can handle it without getting blisters on your hands.
Cut the bananas in thin slices and place them evenly at the bottom of the pie crust. Open the can of condensed milk, which has now turned into a lovely dulche de leche and pour it on top of the bananas.
To make the whipped cream-meringue topping:
Whip 2 dl of cream into soft peaks. Make a meringue batter (see linked recipe above). Measure how much whipped cream you have got. Take half that volume of meringue batter and fold that into the whipped cream. (Sorry, we didn't take note of the correct measurements, but the rest of the meringue batter can of course be used to make meringues, we did that and got about 12 small meringues).
Spread the whipped cream-meringue on top of the pie. Cover and let it set in the fridge for a while. Sift cocoa powder on top just before serving.
This is very sweet, so a thin slice goes a long way...

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