Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Banoffee Pie - banana, dulche de leche and're going to love me for this one!!

(Don't know why my pictures are in the wrong order...but they should be reversed....!!)
Yes indeed you are going to think I am the Bees Knees when you make this deceptively simple little is heavenly! It is crunchy, if you choose a good thin crust, luscious, creamy, very sweet without being cloying...oh what joy! Apparently it was 'invented' in the early 70's at The Hungry Monk in England and has since become one of the favourite desserts of Blighty, my goodness it was even mentioned in my favourite movie "Love actually", which by the way I watch every year near Christmas time...but that's by the we go....

 2 cups of canned sweetened condensed milk 

1 9" frozen pie crust...I would normally make the pie crust but in this instance I have found an EXCELLENT pie crust by Maple Lane Bakery which is organic, vegan, unbleached white flour and VERY good...I cook it 'blind' (cautionary note NOT used unpopped corn for this purpose....I did once and guess what happened!!!) and for longer than they say so it is really golden and crisp.

3 nicely ripe bananas...not starchy ones....err on the side of too ripe rather than underripe!

1 1/2 cups chilled heavy/double cream...preferably organic as I have found this doesn't 'weep' after whipping and sitting around for a while, although I have to tell you if this pie does sit around for a while someone's taste buds are dead!

1 tablespoon light brown sugar 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
...and off we go..

1. Pre heat oven to 425F

2. Pour condensed milk into a pie plate and stir in a generous pinch of salt

3. Cover pie plate with foil and fold tightly around the rim. Put pie plate into a roasting pan 'bain marie' (water bath) and add enough boiling water to come halfway up the pie plate. Bake and check on the water occasionally to make sure it hasn't all evaporated, replenish as necessary. Cook until the milk has become a delicious golden caramel colour and has thickened considerably, which may take up to 2 hours...I like mine slightly runny and not quite so dark so it may take less time to get to that stage...see pic above...and can now be technically called dulche de leche, remove from the oven and let cool before popping in the fridge for a while to really cool. I prefer this method to the boil in the ca one as you can check the progress and take the dulche de leche out at the point where you like it to be.

4.Whip the cream with the brown sugar and vanilla....

5. Pour condensed milk caramel into precooked pie crust.....slice bananas all over the top...cover all with whipped cream....make sure bananas are completely covered or they'll turn brown very quickly, the cream will insulate them for a while...although it will be gone so quickly they won't have the chance anyways!!! 

Off you go, go now, trust me you will LOVE this charming little pie....don't assemble the pie until just before you want it devoured so the crust doesn't get a chance to go soggy!!! 

This is my way of saying 'Happy Thanksgiving'

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Christmas comes early...

I know, I know it seems like Christmas advertising comes earlier and earlier each year but honestly there is a method to MY madness on this front. If you order from my Cafe Press Online store early you can get the cheapest shipping method and still be well in time for Christmas, there is some lead time involved in getting the orders made up, they are all individually made to order so a few days is needed before the items you order can be shipped, so I thought if I get this up nice and early you'll have a chance to order early and save money on the shipping..aren't I the nicest person you know, so condsiderate, kind and thoughtful!!! Anyways...happy shopping and do let me know what you think of my wares. Merry Merry...Patricia

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Eat Local Challenge, Belfast, Maine

My local Food Co-op, one of the main reasons why we live in Belfast, Maine, has challenged it shoppers to the Eat Local Challenge. Here is their description of the challenge which helps people connect to where their food comes from and how many food miles are involved in their eating. Very cleverly the Co-op has marked everything it has for sale in the store that has been grown/produced within one hundred miles of the Co-op.
"The Maine Eat Local Challenge is an opportunity for us, as individuals and communities, to explore what it is like to source our food locally, support our local food growers and suppliers and keep our food dollars in the local economy. For those of us already committed to local food it is an opportunity to see if we can go even deeper in our commitment to eating local"