Who could resist this wickedly indulgent dessert? The secret to a great banoffee pie is to add salt to the caramel. Passionfruit is a bit of a surprise addition, but I like the way it cuts through the richness of the caramel. You’ll end up with more caramel than you need, but it keeps well and is lovely poured over vanilla ice-cream.
200g crushed biscuits (such as gingernuts or malt biscuits)
125g melted butter
¾ cup salted caramel (recipe below)
1 tbsp Fresh As passionfruit powder mixed with 1–2 tbsp icing sugar (or 2 tbsp strained passionfruit syrup)
juice of ½ lemon
¼–½ cup toasted
2 cups caster sugar
1½–2 tsp Murray River flake salt
1 tbsp liquid glucose (or corn syrup, or golden syrup)
¼ cup water
Combine the crushed biscuits and melted butter and press into 6 greased loose-bottomed tart tins or a 10cm × 22cm pie dish lined with baking paper. Refrigerate to chill for 30 minutes.
For the salted caramel, place the sugar, salt, liquid glucose and water in a medium saucepan. Stir over a low heat to combine, then increase the heat and stop stirring once the mixture starts to simmer. Continue to simmer until the mixture turns a deep golden colour. Be brave enough to let it go deep gold because this gives a special flavour, but don’t let it burn. You can swirl the pan so it colours evenly and if sugar crystals form on the sides, brush them down with a wet pastry brush. Remove from the heat once golden and carefully add the 300ml cream (it will sizzle). Stir well and return to a low heat to ensure it is well combined. Set aside (or pour into warm sterilised glass jars to store).
Remove the tart cases from the refrigerator and spread a generous tablespoon of salted caramel onto each tart (or ¾ cup on the larger version). Spread with a hot, wet knife if a little stiff. Return to the refrigerator until just before serving.
Whip the 250ml cream with the passionfruit mixture and set aside.
Just before serving, peel and slice the bananas and toss in the lemon juice. Place the bananas on top of the caramel, top with the whipped cream and toasted almonds, and serve.
This recipe is an extract from Simon Gault's latest cookbook, which showcases classic starters, seafood, pasta, rice, mains and desserts that are all updated with Simon's signature magic.
As the Masterchef judge and restaurateur himself says, "hopefully you will find at least one recipe that will become your signature – a secret weapon that you will master. It will become the dish you are known for, and the thing people will hope you are cooking when they come over for dinner". The book is available from Friday 29th August from all good bookstores, RRP$60.00.
You can also catch Simon live this weekend over brunch at "The Shed" at Northburn Station, Central Otago on Saturday, and on Sunday at Rydges Savoy West as part of the Word Christchurch Readers and Writers Festival. On Thursday 11th September he'll be in Hutt Valley at 6.30pm at The Upper Hutt Cossie Club. For more information visit www.penguin.co.nz/events.
Reproduced with permission from SIMON GAULT MODERN CLASSICS by Simon Gault. Published by Penguin Group NZ. RRP $60.00. Copyright © text, Simon Gault, 2014. Copyright © photographs, Kieran Scott, 2014