Is anyone else here a fan of Love Actually? As in, the Christmas season is not complete until you've cringed at the curtains opening on the PM and Ms. Would We Call Her Chubby and you've shed that tear when Colin Firth tries to speak Portugese?
Well, that movie is my first and admittedly only introduction to Banoffee Pie. When Kierra Knighlty offers it to the man who is so clearly awkwardly in love with her, and all American audiences go, wait, what kind of pie? I let it slide for years, but now that I know what it is... I have discovered that I have been missing out! And so have you if you haven't had it yet.
For the Pie Crust
1 stick butter, melted
1 (10-oz.) package of digestive biscuits, such as McVities brand
For the Filling
1 stick butter
1⁄2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 (14-oz.) can condensed milk
1 pint heavy cream
Grated chocolate (Optional)
1. Make the crumb crust: Crush the digestive biscuits in a food processor until you get a fine crumb texture. Transfer to a bowl and stir in melted butter. Press into a 9"-diameter tart base with a removable bottom. Press the mixture up the sides of the tart form with the back of a spoon. Chill the crust in refrigerator for at least one hour.
2. Make the toffee: Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the brown sugar and melt over low heat. Add the condensed milk and bring the mixture to a boil for a few minutes, stirring continuously. The toffee should darken slightly.
3. Pour the filling into the crust. Cool and chill again for at least one hour until the caramel is firm.
4. To serve, remove the tart from the pan and carefully transfer to a serving plate. Slice the bananas and place them in a single layer on top of the caramel. Whip the cream and spoon it over the toffee and bananas, sealing the filling in. Sprinkle the top of the pie with grated chocolate, if using.
Tea culture in Britain is something I'm a little jealous of. The ingrained afternoon break, a chance to recharge. And of course, you can't have tea without snacks! Cakes, scones, sandwiches. Mmmm.
I love this kind of thing from Wikipedia:
Brewing the tea
Even very slightly formal events can be a cause for cups and saucers to be used instead of mugs. A typical semi-formal British tea ritual might run as follows (the host performing all actions unless noted)
1. The kettle is brought to a rolling boil (with fresh water to ensure good oxygenation which is essential for proper diffusion of the tea leaves).
3. Add loose tea leaves (usually black tea) or tea bags, always added before the boiled water.
4. Fresh boiling water is poured over the tea in the pot and allowed to brew for 2 to 5 minutes while a tea cosy may be placed on the pot to keep the tea warm.
5. A tea strainer is placed over the top of the cup and the tea poured in, unless tea bags are used. Tea bags may be removed, if desired, once desired strength is attained.
6. Fresh milk and white sugar are added, usually by the guest. Most people have milk with their tea, many without sugar.
7. The pot will normally hold enough tea so as not to be empty after filling the cups of all the guests. If this is the case, the tea cosy is replaced after everyone has been served. Hot water may be provided in a separate pot, and is used only for topping up the pot, never the cup."
We may not have this as a daily tradition, but when we do pull out the old passed-down-through-the-family tea set, and fill the tea kettle, it feels like a momentary break from whatever other ills of life may be present. A chance to just enjoy a hot cup of tea, and a little treat.