Banoffee Pie

Happy New Year and all of that!

I’ve been very erratic with blog posts this past year and I hope I can change that this year. The one way I *can* do that is by keeping my posts short – especially the ones with recipes. So, here goes:

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Banoffee Pie:
Ingredients:
1 400g tin of condensed milk (I used MilkMaid)
3 ripe bananas
2 cups whipping cream (I used 1 packet of BlueBird Whipping Cream powder and followed instructions on the packet to make it)
1 pie crust (my go-to recipe here)
1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder

Method:
1. Let the (unopened) tin of condensed milk boil, on low flame, fully submerged in a vessel filled with water, for 3 – 3.5 hours. When you open the tin, it will be a delicious gooey brown toffee, just the kind you’d find inside a truffle. No kidding!
2. While your condensed milk in magically converting itself into toffee, you can make you pie crust. (or go for a movie or a dinner date!)
3. Let the toffee cool down to room temperature and make some whipped cream, in the meanwhile.
4. Chop some bananas just before you wish to assemble the pie and also make a quick mix with the cocoa powder and the coffee.
5. Layering the banoffee pie is easy – at the bottom of the pie crust goes the toffee. Then you layer it with sliced bananas. You top it off with whipped cream. And finally sprinkle a teaspoon of coffee and cocoa powder, for pretties.

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6. Chill for a couple of hours before serving.

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Notes:
1. I find this method of making toffee/caramel extremely easy, totally fool proof and absolutely amazing. I’ve bombed making caramel from sugar (and condensed milk!) ever so often that it’s such a relief this works so well for me.
2. I’m not particularly a fan of bananas or banoffee pie, I find the latter cloyingly sweet. But everybody who ate this had good things to say.

Among other things, I’m on Instagram. I hope to post mostly food pictures. Though I do I resolve to not stop blogging, for sure!

Plum Pie

(for the PGW fan)

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I’d picked up a jar of plum jam when I was in Kodaikanal for @acidmess‘ birthday. It’s a different matter that I’d put off using it to cook with, for a whole month, because I couldn’t open the darned jar!

The topic of the unopened jar of plum jam came up at work during lunch hour and I was blackmailed into making a pie, if someone at work managed to open the jar of jam for me. It was opened with ease. And I had enough incentive to bake.

That weekend – Saturday, I baked a fruity cake for @yashot‘s birthday. And Sunday, I baked the pie, with whatever fruit I had remaining.

The pie crust was a breeze. Ever so often, you come across recipes that become your go-to recipes. One time, I worked this generic quiche/pie-crust dough, which worked amazingly well. The pie crust needs a teaspoon and a half of sugar more, otherwise, it’s really everything that the quiche crust is. The sugar cookies recipe is use is another. As is the marble cake recipe, which I add all kinds of fruits/flavours/colours to, to make cakes that nobody’s complained about yet, really.

For the Pie Crust:
Ingredients and Method:
I won’t write out the recipe for the pie crust again, here, because you can find it on my blog
here
and the two references I used to make it are:
1. An all-butter crust for sweet/savory pies (Pâte Brisée)
2. Technique on how to bake the crust and weigh it down

For the criss-cross pattern, I rolled the excess pie-dough out into a circle a little larger than the pie pan and cut out strips from the circle. Then, I lay them out over the stuffing, some vertically, some horizontally, to make the criss-cross pattern.

For the filling:
Ingredients:
1 apple, peeled and diced
2 plums, diced
1 cup plum jam
1 cup water
2 teaspoons cinnamon, finely ground
1-2 tablespoons sugar (or as required)
2 teaspoons lemon-juice
some lemon-rind, for added flavour

Method:
1. Bring the cup of water to a boil. Add the plum jam to it and still until it dissolves, on low heat.
2. Add the fruit, the lemon, the lemon-rind and the cinnamon and cook on low heat until the cut fruit become gooey and the entire mixture reduces to a thick syrupy consistency. This should take about 20 minutes.
3. While the mixture is cooking, taste it occasionally. (Be careful, it will be very hot and you can burn your tongue! I did.) Add sugar, only if required.

Notes:
1. When you dice the fruit, you can soak them in water mixed with the lemon juice, to prevent them from browning. Alternately, if you know you’re going to use the fruits more or less immediately, you can add the lemon juice into the cooking mixture.
2. I needed to add more sugar because the plum jam that I had bought was entirely natural (and home-made). It was strong on flavour but not quite sweet. It was tart, owing to the natural taste of the plums used, I believe. And I’d have liked myself a sweet pie, so I added about 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Putting it all together:
1. I pre-baked the crust first, using the method described in the second link I’ve provided under the pie section above.
2. When both the crust and the pie filling were down to room temperature, I filled the crust up with the filling and layered the top of the crust with the dough in a criss-cross manner (again, described above).
3. Then, I baked the pie for about 35 minutes at 350°.
4. When I pulled the pie out of the oven, it was a bubbling mixture, so I had to let it cool before I cut my first slice out.

I’d have liked to enjoy the pie with some whipped cream, but I used up all I could make the previous evening for the birthday cake and I was too bored to go buy some more.

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P.S.: Incentive to get down to blogging today was a post from 350kitchen where the author mentioned a free photo editing service called picmonkey that you can use to add cool fonts to label pictures and also to edit pictures. And I just had to try it, given that @vip_nair has been harping about how I need to work on ‘building a brand’ if I want more people to know about this blog. Do I, is still the question. 🙂