I’m not religious. So I get my regular fix of divinity from this banoffee pie. In place of white sugar and butter, we’re using toffee-tasting dates with tahini to conjure up the creamy caramel. Eat your heart out Hermione!
No boring white flour either – our base is a brilliant medley of ground almonds and Irish oats for us wholefood whores. We like almonds for their treasure-trove of vitamin E, the patron saint of sexy skin. And all that fibre packed into almonds and oats will help blast pesky toxins out of our plumbing like a power hose. Not bad for a slice of banoffee!
Chef’s note: We prefer using an odourless coconut oil from a trustworthy brand for this recipe, which can be accessed through any Irish health store online. When done correctly, odourless coconut oil is gently steamed to remove the stronger coconutty tones, but leaving the beneficial lauric and caprylic acids intact. Nyom.
For the base:
100g ground almonds
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For the caramel:
125ml light tahini
225g dried dates
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
3 bananas, sliced
10g dark chocolate, to grate
120ml coconut yoghurt (v) or whipped cream
Shoot up the oven to 180 C (160 fan-assisted). Oil an 20cm loose-bottom pan with a swipe of coconut oil and clean fingertips. I have a fluted loose-bottom pan that works beautifully, and can be found online in kitchen stores for around €11.
Using a food processor or coffee grinder, blitz the oats with your ground almonds until uniform. Add the melted coconut oil, maple syrup and salt. It will feel too wet for a pastry base, so leave it to rest and absorb for 10 minutes.
By now, your base will be easier to handle and feel drier to touch. Tumble into your pre-oiled pan, flatten into every corner, bringing the mixture up the fluted sides. Go as thinly as you can, especially at the elbow part which often comes out thickest.
Bake for 12-14 minutes before the pastry colours. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 2 hours.
While the pastry cooks, you can get jiggy with your wholefood caramel. Cover the dates with a little water, and boil for 8 minutes. Transfer to a blender with your tahini and vanilla. Blitz until lusciously smooth. Leave to cool for 2 hours (this avoids the trauma of a soggy pastry butt).
To assemble, spoon your lickysticky caramel over the cooled pastry base. Top with a blanket of sliced banana, followed by clouds of cold cream or coconut yoghurt. Dust with lots of chocolate scrapings (a potato peeler is good for this). This banoffee will last beautifully for days in the fridge.