Every year, I have the same conversation with the kids. It goes something like this, ‘can we go on the rides, play the carnie games, ride the Zipper?’ My answer is always the same— ‘absolutely not’ but then I crumble like a shortbread cookie, hand over 50.00 to the ticket taker and the kids have a blast. At least I am consistent with my inconsistencies.
Applefest happens the first weekend in October and this little town of 400 people swells to what seems like 4 million. There are all sorts of delicious and unhealthy food choices (hand dipped corn dogs are a personal favorite), booths lining the streets selling everything from bed sheets to cranberries to handmade soap, an apple peeling contest (the winning peel was over 200 inches long) and there is a big parade. Bayfield is particularly well suited for a parade— Rittenhouse gently slopes towards the lake and is lined with picturesque storefronts. There is something about a high school marching band that makes me smile, especially when Will is marching along playing his saxophone.
What do you need the night before a big parade? Pie, of course. After all the nutritious cotton candy, mini doughnuts and corn dogs, we needed a pie with at least one redeeming nutritional component. We settled on banoffee pie— basically a banana cream pie with a few twists. Sadie and her friends assembled the pie while I was making dinner— too many cooks didn’t spoil this pie, it was delicious. I made the dulce de leche earlier in the day (recipe here) and it was as easy at the recipe stated (in a crock pot, nonetheless).
(Adapted from Melskitchencafe.com)
36 chocolate sandwich cookies (like Oreos)
7 tbsp butter, melted
2 3/8 cups of dulce de leche
1 1/2 cup chocolate covered toffee bits (I used Heath) Bits)
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
12 ounces regular cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
Add the cookies to a food processor and process until it resembles coarse meal. Put the Oreos in a bowl, add the melted butter and combine thoroughly. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a buttered 10 inch springform pan. Refrigerate or freeze until set.
Spread the dulce de leche over the bottom and up the sides of the crust. In a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar, brown sugar and cream cheese. Whip with a handheld or stand mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add heavy whipping cream on low-speed and mix until combined. Increase the mixer speed to medium and mix until the mixture is light and creamy and is the consistency of thick frosting.
Slice the bananas about 1/4 inch think and layer the slices over the dulce de leche. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of the toffee bits over the bananas. Spread the whipped cream filling over the bananas and toffee, making sure to spread all the way to the edges of the pie. Sprinkle the top with the remaining toffee bits and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours before serving. This pie is best eaten the day its made, the bananas start to get mushy if it sits too long.