I was planning to bring wings to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s Super Bowl Party. In anticipation of the big game, I bought a massive pack, thinking of the new way I might flavor them. A couple of days before the party I e-mailed my sister-in-law and suggested wings. She responded. Could I make dessert instead?
For a moment I was thrown off. (What about my chicken wings?) Coincidentally Maggy, Andy, Dashiell, and Andy’s mom, Angie, were out from the city for a visit. Between long, admiring stares at our new grandson, Angie and I talked about her monthly book group. How when it was her turn to host, she always made an English meal, which everyone loved. Especially her dessert—Banoffee Pie.
And that’s how my Super Bowl dessert came to me. Instead of a graham cracker crust, I laid whole graham crackers on the pan bottom, spreading their tops with warmed butter and sugar. During their short oven time, they baked into a hard, toffee-like crust. From there I built this great dessert—caramel, bananas, cream, chocolate, and toffee bits—which got almost as many raves as Katie Perry’s half-time extravaganza.
A few days later, I headed to New York for a visit with Maggy and Angie. Since I had simmered four cans of condensed milk and only used two, I decided to make the Banoffee Squares again. I enjoyed watching Angie, who rarely indulges in dessert, going back for bite after bite of the toffee crust, silky caramel, chunky bananas, and rich cream. The crunchy toffee crust, she said, made it.
As I was leaving, Maggy asked for two squares for her and Andy. I turned to Angie as I was slipping a couple of slices onto a plate. “Would you like a piece?” She smiled sheepishly and said, “Sure!”
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk, label removed
- 5 to 6 whole graham crackers
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 2 medium bananas, sliced
- 1 cup chilled heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup semi- or bittersweet chocolate
- ½ cup Heath English Toffee Bits
- Set condensed milk can in a medium saucepan with water to come ¾ of the way up. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered and adding water as needed, about 3 hours. Remove can from pan; let cool until warm. (Do not open too soon as milk may spurt if can is hot.)
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottom of an 8-inch baking pan with an 8- by 16-inch sheet of heavy-duty foil, which you’ll use as a sling to pull the bars from pan. Arrange graham crackers over the foil-lined pan bottom, cutting the final few with a serrated knife to fit. Heat butter and sugar in a small saucepan until butter has melted.
- Pour butter mixture over crackers; spread to cover. Bake until butter/sugar mixture starts to harden, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Whip cream to fairly stiff peaks with remaining tablespoon of sugar and vanilla extract.
- To assemble pie, spread reduced sweetened condensed milk over pie bottom, top with bananas, and then the whipped cream. Sprinkle with chocolate and toffee bits; refrigerate until ready to serve (Can be made several hours before serving.)