Photo by Beatrix Bakes
Make Banoffee Custard Pie with Beatrix Bakes
By Co-lab Pantry
Natalie Paul the Queen of Queensberry street and master of cake-making, shares another one of her recipes from her book Beatrix Bakes, giving us - and you, an inside into the goodness of baking. So, as we like to say, get your apron on, and get baking!
Here's how to make a little Banoffee Custard Pie, the perfect kind of pie to bring along to the next dinner party you're invited to, or hosting.
Banoffee Custard Pie:
Makes One 24 cm (9½ in) pie to serve 8–12.
Takes If the crust has been blind baked, then 50 minutes to make and bake. Chill for a minimum of 2 hours before finishing – overnight is great.
Keeps Up to 2 days, chilled.
There is banoffee pie as it is – an overtly sweet and slippery union of banana and caramel. And then there is banoffee pie as it should be – where the caramel infuses a baked custard filling and is then topped with bananas. Ripe bananas matter, so choose ones with a little black speckle – not too woody. To finish, the chocolate-strewn cream on top will clasp the banana to the custard. Every spoonful is a delight of texture and flavour while holding fast to the heart of what banoffee is. This kind of pie makes you feel like everything is going to be okay in the world.
- 1 × batch sweet butter crust (page 46), rolled into a 24 cm (9½ in) tart tin and blind baked to golden brown
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten, for brushing pastry (use the yolk for the filling) Filling
- 500 g/ml (1 lb 2 oz) cream (35–45% milk fat)
- 10 g (¼ oz/1 teaspoon) vanilla paste
- 150 g (5½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- 30 g/ml (1 oz) water
- 3 g (⅟₁₀ oz/heaped ¼ teaspoon) sea salt flakes
- 80 g (2¾ oz) egg yolk (from approx. 4 eggs)
- 3 small bananas, ripe and fragrant
- 1 passionfruit, pulped (or 2 teaspoons orange juice)
- 200 g/ml (7 oz) cream (35–45% milk fat)
- 5 g (⅛ oz/½ teaspoon) vanilla paste
- 100 g (3½ oz) crème fraîche
- ½ × batch Chocolate rubble – milk chocolate (page 244)
- Preheat the oven to 120°C (250°F). Place the blind-baked crust, still in the tin, on a heavy baking tray. Soften a little left-over dough by massaging it in your hands and use it to patch any large fissures or breaks where the liquid filling is likely to escape. Don’t press the dough too hard or you risk making a bigger crack.* To make the filling, scald the cream and vanilla in a small saucepan over a medium–high heat. For ‘scalding’, what you are looking for is over half the surface of the cream to be eagerly bubbly. Remove from the heat and set aside. We want to use the cream while it’s hot so it will merge better with the hot caramel, so don’t delay the next step. In a separate small saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a fast boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Continue boiling, without stirring, until the caramel is medium brown. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the caramel to continue cooking from the pan’s heat.
- You, being the captain of your caramel ship, can decide how deep you want that flavour to be. I play brinkmanship with it, stopping the caramel cooking right on the precipice of burnt (around 190°C/375°F is close to the edge). You may prefer a milder caramel flavour, so cease the cooking before that.
- When it reaches your preferred caramel colour and smell, carefully pour half the hot cream into the caramel, taking care as it will spatter. Add the remaining cream and whisk in the salt. Sometimes a few straggly bits of caramel stick to the whisk. I don’t worry about this. But if your cream has cooled too much and your whisk can feel (or show) big clumps of caramel, then put the caramel cream back on the heat to melt.
- Put the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl. Pour half the hot caramel cream into the yolks and whisk well before pouring in the remainder. Strain through a fine sieve into a jug. Now, let’s get the blind-baked crust ready. Brush the egg white to lightly coat the inside of the crust. Put in the oven for 5 minutes for the egg white to dry slightly and seal well. Don’t overheat at this stage as the egg white can cause the pastry to crack. Then, preferably while it’s still in the oven (it helps if there’s not a rack above your crust), carefully pour the caramel custard filling into the crust. The custard level will be slightly scant, as you need to leave room for the bananas and cream.
- To prevent the custard filling leaking out and baking between the tin and the pastry, don’t overfill and don’t let the custard slosh down between the crust and the tin while filling. If the crust is slightly uneven in height, fill only to the top of the lowest side.
- Bake for 25–30 minutes until the custard has a firm eggy wobble and a fine blistering across the top. We want the custard to be reasonably firm, to hold the topping. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. To make the topping, cut the bananas in half lengthways, then chop into small semicircles and put in a bowl. Scrape the passionfruit into the bowl and lightly mix to coat the banana.
- The acidity from the passionfruit (or use orange juice if preferred) will prevent the banana from discolouring. Lemon juice is a little jarring against the caramel custard.
- Whip the cream and vanilla to medium peaks, then lightly whisk in the crème fraîche. This will soften the cream slightly to soft cloud-like peaks. Leaving the pie in the tin, strew the bananas across the surface of the custard and lightly press in. Pile the cream onto the middle and smooth it over to the edge of the tin with an offset spatula or long knife. Scatter over the Chocolate rubble. Return to the fridge to chill, then remove from the tin and serve.
Sweet butter crust:
Makes 500 g (1 lb 2 oz): enough for one 24 cm (9½ in), 4 cm (1½ in) deep tart tin or twelve 8 cm (3¼ in) tartlet tins, with some left over.
Takes Under 30 minutes to make and roll. Freeze for an hour before blind baking for up to 40 minutes.
Keeps For 3 days refrigerated, then up to 3 months frozen.
This is a tender and forgiving tart pastry. Its slight flakiness and crumbly cookie feel elevates it beyond cakier types of sweet pastries. It has ample fat with the butter, egg yolk and cream to make it super ‘short’, so it can be rolled straight after mixing in a cool environment. You can roll it a second and third time – its tenderness will only diminish slightly each time but it won’t toughen so much that it shrinks. This whole family of tart crusts, which includes Nutty butter and Polenta, won’t get too firm when baked and then chilled for the Ricotta crostata or the Tart-a-misu. It surrenders easily to a knife. If pastry makes you nervous, just focus on maintaining a cool, pliable dough.
- 240 g (8½ oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 60 g (2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- 2 g (1/16 oz/¼ teaspoon) fine sea salt
- 140 g (5 oz) unsalted butter, cold and diced
- 20 g (¾ oz) egg yolk (from approx. 1 egg)
- 50 g/ml (1¾ oz) cream (35–45% milk fat)
- Put the flour, sugar and salt in a wide mixing bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the dry ingredients just until the butter lumps are the size of small peas and the flour has taken on a yellowy hue. When tossing through your fingers, it should feel like silky ground almonds with buttery lumps throughout.
- These small butter lumps are going to melt during baking, creating a little steam, which will help flake the pastry apart.
- Lightly mix the egg yolk and cream together and then add to the buttery flour. Keep mixing with your hands, lightly squeezing the dough together. The mix will look crumbly at first and then will come together like playdough. Loosely wrap the dough in plastic wrap, then press the dough into a 2 cm (¾ in) thick disc, gently squeezing around the edge to smooth out any cracks. If the dough is not too warm, you can start rolling now. Or if it feels sticky, chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes – just ensure that the dough is cool and pliable before rolling.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and press it out a little with the palm of your hand to ease it into the start of rolling. This helps to prevent large cracks. Give the dough one or two short pressured rolls with the pin before lifting and moving the dough 90 degrees, making the rolls longer as the dough circle widens. Dust underneath the dough at regular intervals to prevent sticking. For a 24 cm (9½ in) tart tin, roll out the dough to a 35 cm (14 in) circle, about 4 mm (¼ in) thick. Trim, then gently lift and flop the dough into the tin. Working in sections, tuck the dough right into the edge and against the side of the tart tin to prevent air pockets, then roll off the excess with a rolling pin. Freeze for at least 1 hour before blind baking. For individual tins, cut circles slightly larger than the tins and line in the same way. To blind bake, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Cover the frozen dough with a piece of aluminium foil, tucking it snugly into the corner of the tin. Fill the lined tin with sugar and bake for 30–40 minutes until the crust is an even biscuity brown colour. Bake the individual tins for 25 minutes. See pages 40–42 for more information on rolling and lining tins, and pages 44–45 for more information on blind baking.
- Chocolate rubble Break 100 g (3½ oz) of any flavour (nice eating) chocolate into a mortar and crush with the pestle (or whiz them in a food processor) until you have small gravelly pieces. Sprinkle and done. Use white chocolate rubble on top of a fruity doughnut glaze, dark chocolate on top of Tart-a-misu, and milk chocolate rubble on the Banoffee custard pie.
Get the cookbook, Beatrix Bakes online.