Our roundup of international desserts is both mouthwatering and inspiring, but I have to quibble over one glaring omission. Having spent an entire semester abroad sampling my way through England’s banoffee pie offerings, I have to give a shout out to my particular international dessert of choice. This unassuming jumble of bananas, toffee, and whipped cream is one of the most addictive and comforting foods you’ll ever put in your mouth.
I’d never even heard of banoffee pie before landing in England on that semester abroad in college, something my new British friends found unbelievable and unacceptable. They set about correcting this character flaw right away. I’ve got to admit - it didn’t take much convincing.
Kudos for the invention of banoffee pie are generally given to the chefs at Hungry Monk restaurant in East Sussex. The original dessert consisted (and continues to consist) of bananas, whipped cream with a little instant coffee and dulce de leche made from boiling sweetened condensed milk. These are all layered into a pre-baked pie crust and consumed with gusto.
In my personal Banoffee Knowledge Quest, I came across many versions of this pie. Some had a graham cracker crust instead of a pastry crust. Some were layered in trifle dishes with crumbled cookies, making it more of a pudding than a pie. Some skipped the coffee part, others added a drizzle of chocolate over the top. All of them were far too delicious for their own good.
Convinced? Here are some recipes to get you started:
• The Original Banoffee Pie from the Hungry Monk
• Banoffee Pie from Gourmet
• Banoffee Mess Cups from Jamie Oliver
• Banoffee Trifle from Diana’s Desserts
What’s your favorite version of banoffee pie?
Related: Go Bananas! 12 Banana Sweets and Treats
(Image: Romulo Yanes)