For those of you that don’t know me, I’m Emma, the 16-year-old blogger behind Fruits and Routes. I’d been following Beth for a while before I had the courage to start up my own blog, and so was delighted when Beth agreed to do a collaboration with me. Don’t forget to head over to my blog to have a browse of my other content if you’re interested!
I can still vividly remember the first time I ever tried banoffee pie. My brother had made one as part of a cooking course at his school and brought it back home for us to try. Let me just say that it was one of the best things he ever introduced to my life – the heavenly layers of biscuity base, indulgent dulce de leche (caramel), sliced banana coins and pillowy whipped cream worked together harmoniously and it soon became one of my all-time favourite desserts. I’m pretty sure we made three within the space of a month after discovering it!
Unfortunately, banoffee pie isn’t the healthiest of desserts, although my Dad still thinks it’s pretty healthy because of the fact that it has bananas 😉 I do still enjoy a good slice of the original banoffee pie from time to time, because I believe in everything in moderation and couldn’t deprive myself of something this good, however here I’ve created a gluten-free version because Beth is a coeliac, which is fruit-sweetened and also vegan so lots of you can enjoy a healthier version of the classic (although it looks and tastes pretty similar to the original).
My favourite layer is definitely, without a doubt the caramel one. I have a secret love-affair with caramel (don’t tell anyone!) and it might even be higher up on my list than chocolate, although that’s a risky statement so don’t hold me on that one. For this reason, it’s the thickest layer, so that I can pay homage to my caramel addiction, but if you don’t enjoy caramel is much as I do (I mean why wouldn’t you?) then feel free to reduce the quantities slightly… however I don’t recommend doing it. Just don’t.
Lastly, please don’t get put out by the hefty ingredient list; quite a few are repeated, and the whole recipe is pretty quick from start to finish, so it really doesn’t have to be a “whole-day” type of dessert – it took me about 1 hour from start to finish, plus extra chilling time afterwards. The reason why you have to refrigerate the tins of coconut milk upside down is so that the cream will be at the bottom when you flip over and open the cans, allowing you to drain of the coconut water – which you can store in a jar in the fridge to use in porridge – and get the most coconut cream possible. I forgot to do this the first time and ran out of cream!
Ingredients – serves 8 (or 6 in my family of banoffee monsters!)
-75g oats (certified gluten free if coeliac/ gluten intolerant)
-50g desiccated coconut
-3 level tbsp date paste (made during the filling step)
-4 tbsp hulled tahini (hulled is the lighter-coloured version which is less bitter as the husk has been removed before blending)
-1 tbsp coconut oil, melted (about 15g)
-400g pitted medjool dates, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes if necessary to soften them
-3 tbsp hulled tahini
-1 tsp lucuma powder (optional but recommended for a touch of vanilla-y sweetness!)
-2 tbsp coconut oil, melted (30g)
-Generous pinch of sea salt/ pink Himalayan salt
-3 medium sized ripe bananas, chopped into coins (about 350-400g unpeeled weight)
-2x 400ml tins full fat coconut milk, refrigerated upside down (important!) overnight
-50ml chickpea aquafaba (the liquid left over in the can after removing the chickpeas)
-1 vanilla pod
-Optional chocolate to grate on top (raw/ dark/ whatever you have really!)
- Start by making your date paste. Simply place the dates (soaked and drained if necessary) in your food processor and blend until you get a thick, clumpy mixture which will probably still contain medium-sized chunks of date. This is ok, and scrape it into a bowl to set aside while you make the base.
- Pulse the peanuts, oats and coconut in the food processor (no need to wash) for roughly 30s, or until you get a mixture which is mostly broken down and bread-crumb like in texture, then add the remaining ingredients for the base using the date paste made in the previous step and blend together until the mixture starts to come together. This may take up to 2-3 minutes depending on your food processor, so keep scraping down and ensuring everything is blended evenly. Pour this into a lightly greased loose-bottomed tart tin (mine was 23cm) and use your hands to press it down firmly into the tin so it doesn’t turn out crumbly, then put it in the freezer for 10 minutes while you make the filling.
- Place all the ingredients for the date caramel filling in your food processor apart from the water, using the rest of the chunky date paste made earlier, and blend until smooth, gradually adding the water as you go. If you need a little more/ less water then adjust the volume to get your perfectly thick, smooth and creamy filling!
- Take the base out of the freezer and spread the date filling on top so that it forms an even layer, followed by topping with the sliced banana coins. Store in the fridge while making the topping.
- For the whipped coconut cream, you want to take your tins of coconut milk out of the fridge, flip them back over, open them and drain off the water into a jar, then spoon out the thick cream that’s left behind into a bowl. Add in the aquafaba and the scraped-out seeds of the vanilla pod (adds an amazing flavour!) and whip using an electric whisk until stiff peaks begin to form. At this point, you can either spoon or pipe the cream onto the top of the pie, grate some chocolate over the top and then pop it back in the fridge for a couple of hours to allow it to properly solidify. Then, enjoy! Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to a week, although there probably won’t be any…
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and I just wanted to say thank you again to Beth for letting me write on her blog! If you do have a go at making this then don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @fruitsandroutes.