As hinted by its name, banoffee tart is a dessert filled with bananas, cream, and toffee. My friend and colleague Michelle Smith was obsessed with creating a version of this English classic. She had tried it as a child while traveling with her family in England, and as a grown-up and professional baker, she became determined to re-create the banoffee tart of yore.
We tried both a pie crust and a tart shell for side-by-side comparison. The fork-tender pie crust was delicious, but we worried it would take too much toffee cream to fill it up, making it unbearably sweet. In contrast, we loved how buttery shortbread paired with a thin layer of flavorsome filling. I decided to incorporate rice flour when the creamy filling turned our tart shell soggy. Rice flour, with its fine and gritty texture, is ideal for adding a crispy texture to baked goods. This quickly resolved the problem. We painted a tiny amount of melted dark chocolate across the shell’s bottom, adding a flirtatious hint of bitterness to contrast with the toffee’s sweetness. A solid layer of thinly sliced banana followed. Then we topped the finished tart with unsweetened whipped cream. When we cut into the tart, we marveled as each slice revealed layers of each component, and once we ate a forkful, we knew we had a hit. This was one chic dessert! I never asked Michelle how our rendition compared to her first banoffee, but I can confirm that many happy customers claimed it was the best they’d ever had.
I suggest you hold on to the tart dough recipe for all your tart purposes. The flavor is neutral and pairs well with a variety of fillings.
To make the toffee cream, you will need dulce de leche (also known as milk jam in the United Kingdom and confiture de lait in France), which can be found in the Latin American section of the grocery store. It’s usually made by manufacturers of sweetened condensed milk such as Borden and Nestlé. You can also make your own: Pour one 14-ounce can of condensed milk into a glass baking dish such as a 9-inch pie dish. Set the baking dish inside a larger vessel, such as a roasting pan, and add hot water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the pie dish. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 400ºF oven for 60 to 75 minutes or until the condensed milk has caramelized and is the color and consistency of peanut butter. —Roxana Jullapat
Test Kitchen Notes
Reprinted from "Mother Grains: Recipes for the Grain Revolution." Copyright © 2021 by Roxana Jullapat. With permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. —The Editors
- Prep time 45 minutes
- Cook time 55 minutes
- makes Makes 1 (9-inch) tart (6 to 8 servings)
- Tart shell
plus 2 tablespoons (90 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
plus 2 tablespoons (55 grams) brown rice flour
(100 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
large egg yolks
scant 1/4 cups
(45 grams) bittersweet chocolate chips
- Banoffee filling
plus 2 tablespoons (90 milliliters) dulce de leche, homemade or store-bought
plus 2 tablespoons (90 milliliters) sweetened condensed milk
packed (55 grams) dark brown sugar
(½ stick/55 grams) unsalted butter
(240 milliliters) heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
Cocoa powder or chocolate shavings, to decorate (optional)
- Lightly coat a 9-inch tart pan with cooking spray.
- For the shell, in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flours, butter, sugar, and salt on low speed for 2 minutes, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the egg yolks and water and continue to mix until the dough just comes together.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a disk.
- With a rolling pin, flatten the dough to a circle about 10 inches in diameter and 1∕8 inch thick, dusting with flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Carefully transfer the dough circle to the prepared tart pan, gently pressing the dough up the sides of the pan and removing any excess dough. If the dough rips while shaping the tart shell, patch it with a lump of additional dough. Using a fork, poke the surface of the tart shell all over. Chill the tart shell for 30 minutes.
- Place a rack in the center of the oven; heat the oven to 350°F.
- Place the tart pan on a baking sheet. Cut a parchment paper circle about 12 inches in diameter and line the inside of the tart shell with the parchment circle. Fill with beans or pie weights and bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden. Rotating the pan halfway through the baking process will ensure that the tart shell bakes evenly. Remove from the oven and carefully lift out the parchment circle with the pie weights. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the warm shell. Wait for 2 minutes, until the chocolate melts, and using a pastry brush, paint the surface of the tart shell with the melted chocolate. Let cool.
- For the filling, in a medium saucepan over low heat, cook the dulce de leche, condensed milk, brown sugar, butter, and salt, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture has thickened. Immediately pour the caramel filling into the tart shell. Using an offset spatula, spread in an even layer. Let cool.
- Slice the bananas into thin coins. Cover the caramel layer with the banana slices. If needed, you can do a double layer of bananas—just make sure you use all of the fruit.
- Cover the top with the whipped cream. Refrigerate the tart until ready to serve. If you wish, sprinkle the top lightly with sifted cocoa powder or chocolate shavings before serving. Enjoy within 2 days.