There are many beautiful cookbooks coming out of this rich world of food blogging, but The Farmette Cookbook is special. It isn’t at all surprising considering Imen is one of those people who lives a life full of passion, creativity and grace. It isn’t luck exactly, it is a fierce curiosity about food and farming and Ireland and photography and being a mom and a friend and a student of life. She has created a magical life in Ireland, which is nothing short of a real life fairytale. Her book speaks to all those things and is absolutely gorgeous.
Imen recently came back to Minnesota to visit and we got a chance to catch up a bit and celebrate her book. Our friend, Stephanie Meyer, threw her a lovely party. There were food bloggers, local food writers, photographers and food lovers there to eat goodies made from Imen’s book. Sarah Kieffer had her camera and captured the event in her etherial way, which you can check out on her site, The Vanilla Bean Blog.
The banoffee pie is a combination of butterscotch pudding, banana cream pie and topped with a “mile-high” meringue, which you should know by now, is one of my weaknesses. It is sweet, it is rich, it is bliss.
Toasted Meringue Topped Banoffee Pie from The Farmette Cookbook by Imen McDonnell
Pie dough for a 9-inch single crust
3 tablespoons butter – I like a salty caramel, so I used salted butter
1 cup (175 g) light unrefined cane sugar (Muscovado sugar)
1 1/3 cups (300ml) whole milk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 egg yolks
2 bananas, peeled and sliced into coins
5 egg whites
1 cup (200 g) superfine sugar
To make the pie dough check out my new Craftsy video:
After you make the dough, blind bake the crust until it is golden. Blind baking just means that you bake it without the filling. You’ll want to line the crust with foil, then fill it with Pie Weights or dried beans – this prevents the dough from sliding down the pie pan as it bakes. After the dough is set, just remove the foil and continue baking until it is golden throughout.
To make the filling:
Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir in the sugar until it is dissolved completely. (I let it go until it just started to smoke, which is why my filling came out a bit darker, but I like that slightly bitter edge to a caramelized sugar)
In a small bowl, add milk to the cornstarch and stir.
Whisk the milk and cornstarch into the caramelized sugar, slowly bring it to a boil and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, whisking continuously.
Whisk together the yolks and then add about 1/2 the hot milk mixture to the yolks (this warms them up) and then return the warmed yolks back to the pan and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until very thick and glossy.
Fill the pie crust with the filling and top with the banana coins.
To make the meringue Imen uses a French Meringue, which is very simple. Just beat the egg whites in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until they are foamy and then slowly sprinkle in the sugar, beating on medium high speed until the whites are stiff. This type of meringue requires baking for 30 minutes after you top the pie.
I used a Swiss meringue instead, which doesn’t require baking and gives me an excuse to use my blow torch! And, I love my blow torch.
You can find this recipe, and so many more, in her book and a version made with crepes on her website, the Farmette.