|Place of origin||United Kingdom|
|Region or state||Jevington, East Sussex|
|Created by||Nigel Mackenzie and Ian Dowding|
|Main ingredients||pastry base or crumbled biscuits, butter, bananas, cream, toffee|
Banoffee pie is an English dessert pie made from bananas, cream and toffee (made from boiled condensed milk, or dulce de leche), combined either on a buttery biscuit base or one made from crumbled biscuits and butter. Some versions of the recipe also include chocolate, coffee or both.
Credit for the pie's invention is claimed by Nigel Mackenzie and Ian Dowding, the owner and chef, respectively, of The Hungry Monk Restaurant in Jevington, East Sussex. They claim to have developed the dessert in 1971 by amending an unreliable American recipe for "Blum’s Coffee Toffee Pie" with a soft toffee made by boiling an unopened can of condensed milk for several hours. After trying various changes including the addition of apple or mandarin orange, Mackenzie suggested banana and Dowding later said that "straight away we knew we had got it right". Mackenzie suggested the name "Banoffi Pie", and the dish proved so popular with their customers that they "couldn't take it off" the menu.
The recipe was published in The Deeper Secrets of the Hungry Monk in 1974, and reprinted in the 1997 cookbook In Heaven with The Hungry Monk. Dowding has stated that his "pet hates are biscuit crumb bases and that horrible cream in aerosols". It was Margaret Thatcher's favourite food to cook.
The recipe was adopted by many other restaurants throughout the world. In 1984, a number of supermarkets began selling it as an American pie, leading Nigel Mackenzie to offer a £10,000 prize to anyone who could disprove their claim to be the English inventors.
The word "Banoffee" entered the English language and became used to describe any food or product that tastes or smells of both banana and toffee. A recipe for the pie, using a biscuit crumb base, is often printed on tins of Nestlé's condensed milk, although that recipe calls for the contents of the tin to be boiled with additional butter and sugar instead of boiling the unopened tin - presumably for safety reasons.
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