Banoffee pie was created in 1970s at the Hungry Monk in East Sussex and instantly gained a following. What’s not to love? Shortcrust pastry, sliced bananas, dulce de leche and whipped cream make this dessert an irresistible crowd-pleaser. Shortcrust pastry, aside from taking the frustration out of rolling and fitting pastry into your tart or pie dish, is fun to grate, fun to press and results in an incredibly crispy, buttery crunch. It’s faster, easier and a lot less messy: You may never go back to rolling crusts.
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (95 grams) plus 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks/170 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large egg yolks
4 large bananas
One (14-ounce) can dulce de leche or sweetened condensed milk with the labels removed (see NOTE)
2 cups (480 milliliters) heavy cream
Finely grated dark chocolate, for topping
Flaky sea salt, for topping (optional)
Place the flour into a food processor and pulse a few times to aerate. Add 3/4 cup (95 grams) confectioners’ sugar, the butter and salt and pulse until the mixture looks crumbly. Add the yolks and process until a crumbly dough forms. Scrape the dough out onto a work surface and gently knead just until smooth. Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle.
Cut the chilled dough in half and grate the halves on the large holes of a box grater. Using your fingers, press the dough onto the bottom and up the sides of the tart pan to create an even layer. Don’t worry about making it perfect — it looks better a little scraggly and uneven. The bottom should be about 1/4 inch thick and the sides about 1/2 inch thick. (Work swiftly, as you don’t want the dough to warm up too much.) Poke the bottom of the crust all over with a fork and freeze for 15 minutes.
Place a large piece of foil on the chilled crust and weigh it down with pie weights (or pennies). Bake the tart shell for 15 to 20 minutes, until the rim is light golden brown. Remove the foil and baking weights or pennies, and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until rich golden brown. If the bottom of the crust puffs up in the second part of baking, weigh it down with weights while it cools.
Peel 2 bananas and slice them into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. (Don’t slice on the bias, as it makes it difficult to layer.) Starting from the outside and working your way to the center, arrange half of the bananas in concentric, overlapping circles in the tart shell.
Transfer the dulce de leche to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on HIGH for 45 seconds to 1 minute. It should be just warm, not hot, and soft enough to be spreadable. Spread the dulce de leche on top of the bananas as evenly as you can. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours. Place a large bowl in the refrigerator to chill.
Peel and slice the remaining 2 bananas and layer them on top of the dulce de leche. Return the pie to the refrigerator.
Combine the heavy cream and the remaining 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar in the bowl that has been chilled. Using a handheld mixer or a whisk, whip the cream until soft peaks form.
Remove the pie from the refrigerator and spread the whipped cream on top so that it covers the bananas. Sprinkle the grated chocolate and flaky sea salt, if using, over the top and serve right away.
NOTE: If using condensed milk, place the can in a large pot and cover it generously with water — the water should cover the can by at least 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for about 3 hours. Watch the water level carefully: Be sure the can is covered with at least 2 inches water the entire time (this is critical for safety). Add boiling water to the pot if the water level starts to get too low.
Remove the can from the pot and let cool completely; if not using the same day, refrigerate until ready to use.
Make ahead: The crust can be made, wrapped tightly and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. The pie, minus the whipped cream, can be made, covered and refrigerated up to 12 hours ahead.