3a.m. genius pie

June 5, 2010

This is a classic recipe which I think is hard to go wrong with. It requires a bit of foresight, in that you must prepare in advance with a stock of ingredients due to the late hour, but the results are worth that extra bit of effort. Enjoy!

You will need:
– 2 x 300ml cans of condensed milk
– a clutch of bananas
– 12” of digestive biscuits; they won’t taste quite right, but there you go.
– 150ml of cream, ultra-heat treated because there is no alternative here.
– A 200g slab or two of second-rate Cadburys exported milk chocolate
– 4 tablespoons of butter
– one clutch of staff
– music and attached power source (230v)

– a large baking tin

Take one clutch staff, put out in sun for five days to tire. Return to the house, and soak in beer from a late hour: here we chose eleven, but the timing is very much up to you :-)

Meanwhile, put two 300ml cans of condensed milk in a pot full of water, to boil for three to four hours. The cans must be unopened, and it’s a good idea to remove the paper wrapping, as boiling will reduce it to a paste soup, which will cake the pot. This wrapper, if lightly boiled can instead by used to re-cover some unrelated canned produce in the cupboard.

Boiling the cans at eleven means that the staff will require enough beer to soak in until at least 2am; more reasonable predictions suggest 3am. If necessary, you can head to the local 24-hour shop, but this of course depends on what resources are available to you.

Place the beers in those nifty jackets to keep them cold.

At any rate, it is important to keep the staff stimulated. Tiring them out prior to preparation ensures that any flavour is over-appreciated and improves the rate they soak at, but over-tiring will mean you lose bodies and momentum. Add music to taste to avoid the mix drying up, but keep in mind the fuckers who live next door to you.

Meanwhile, get the digestive packet and pour the contents into a plastic bag. You should already have opened the packet for tea when you were in the hawkers; you may need more biscuits. Use your hands to crush the biscuits into coarse uniform crumbs.

Once this is done, put the butter in a small bowl with ~80g of chocolate, and melt at a low power in the microwave. Don’t get impatient here and simply put it on full power for 30 seconds. Microwaves use focused electromagnetic radiation to excite electrons, which then release inter-orbital energies as they returning to lower states, emitting potentially tremendous amounts of heat in the centre where energy is least able to dissipate. Mix the melted butter and chocolate together and pour into the biscuit crumbs, ensuring an even distribution.

The butter and chocolate will help congeal the biscuits, forming a solid base. Press this mix down firmly into the tray, compressing with whatever comes to hand: a glass tumbler works well; empty it first. Once you’ve compressed it, and returned all the bits that spilled out, put it in the oven to bake for a 20 minutes at 130°c. I don’t really know if this does anything, but it will make you look like an innovative master baker. If there were some sort of binding agent, it would solidify the base, but with these ingredients, it just tastes shorter. So do that.

Meanwhile, you should have checked your boiling pot has enough water, the staff are still soaking, and the playlist isn’t running low.

The staff should be nearing saturation at this point. This added to a week of childherding will make them eager for regressive, simple, messy tasks: coax them into helping you cut the bananas into fine slices. People have differing ideas on what “fine” means, so expect a nice selection. Working counter-clockwise from the outside in, start laying down the banana. Amusingly, the clutch will feel an even helical pattern is crucial, and will chastise you for messing this up when you dump a handful of banana on top towards the end. Make sure the toffee is completely covered.

Whipping the cream is the next step. The sweltering heat and high humidity means that the cream will not want to stay whipped, so this is the final step in making the banoffee. Once this part is done, you will serve this bad boy right up. It’s 2 am and you are outside, so whipping will be done by hand. Again, give this job to the other staff, they happen to be much better at it than you. Pour the whipped cream over the top of the bananas, and smooth it out evenly over the whole pie.

If there is banana left over, you can decorate the top with it. This will help keep flies away, and the extra gravity will prevent the cream from floating away.

Cut up the banoffee, hand it out on plates.

You’re done, and drunk, and exhausted. Cramming several slices into your mouth with your hands will round off the night nicely, and ensure you wake feeling fresh. Finally, gather all the implements in a pot, and leave them till the morning. They’ll be totally fine, and this is not an inconsiderate thing to do, at all.



  1. j did you just make banoffee pie???

  2. Well, I didn’t just make it, but I did make it. Twice.

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