JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Banoffee pie

Alfred is very keen on bananas, and there was a bunch left blackening in the fruit bowl while we were away in Switzerland. I couldn't bear to throw them away, but Alfred doesn't really like them unless they're bright yellow. So I was pleased to find a recipe entitled 'healthy banoffee pie' in this month's issue of the Waitrose food magazine.

The difficulty we have with lots of puds is the piecrust problem, because most piecrusts, whether or not they are pastry, contain fearsome amounts of butter. This one solves the problem by making the crust out of nuts and dates. It's quite successful (although I have to admit, I didn't use the specified almonds, because I didn't have any and there were hazelnuts galore in the larder), but I think I will have to play with it some more to make it really good - somehow, the crust seemed bitty, even though I used extra dates to glue it all together. It's definitely worth trying, because it's got lots of flavour, and is very light.

*220g hazelnuts
*250g stoned dates
300g 0% Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
3-4 sliced bananas

Oil a large cake tin with removable sides. Blitz the nuts, then add the dates. Press this gooey mess into the tin. Freeze. Meanwhile, put the yoghurt into a shallow dish, sprinkle it with sugar and put it in the fridge. Assemble by putting the base onto a large plate (leave it on the base of the tin, otherwise you'll have a terrible mess), covering it with sliced banana, and adding the yoghurt (stir it lightly first, to make sugary streaks). You can decorate this with shavings of dark chocolate (use a potato peeler).

The recipe says that it should be served immediately, because the nut case will soften at room temperature. We ate half straight away, the rest the next day, and it was still delicious, despite its soggy bottom.

* the original recipe specified 220g blanched almonds and 180g stoned dates

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