AS I’m writing this, we’re right in the middle of Fairtrade Fortnight (February 26 – March 11), so today's recipe brings together three Fairtrade ingredients – bananas, chocolate and sugar – to create a delicious, decadent dessert: banoffee pie.

At the moment, one in three bananas sold throughout the country are Fairtrade, which makes a huge difference to thousands of farmers, workers and their families across the world. With average prices of around 11p, growing bananas for a living is just not sustainable for farmers in countries such as Colombia and the Dominican Republic. Likewise, 90 per cent of the world’s cocoa is grown on small, family farms, and sugar is one of the most important sources of national income for many countries. Chocolate is often one of the first foods that we associate with Fairtrade, but there are more than 4,500 products for us to choose from. By making sure you’re buying Fairtrade, you can do your bit to help farmers get a better deal for their produce. Just look for the Fairtrade mark when you’re shopping.

This indulgent dessert is sometimes mistaken for an American recipe, though it was actually developed in east Sussex in the early 1970s. More than 50 years later, it’s still popular. The messy, sticky process of creating a banoffee pie is, I’m sure, one of the main reasons why my two wee boys love to get involved and help me out in the kitchen at home. There’s no oven needed, and with only a handful of ingredients, it’s so easy to whip up at short notice. Some recipes recommend adding pecans, coffee or even marshmallows, but my advice? Don’t mess with a classic.

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Serves: 12


For the base:

350g digestive biscuits

120g unsalted butter

For the topping:

100g butter

100g Fairtrade soft light brown sugar

2x 397g tins of condensed milk

6 Fairtrade bananas

500ml double cream

75g Fairtrade dark chocolate


1. I normally use disposable foil trays or plates to make my banoffee pie, but a large cake tin works just as well.

2. Start by making the base. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then crush the digestive biscuits in a food processor. Add the biscuit crumbs to the melted butter and mix well.

3. Pour the mixture into the tray or cake tin, patting it down until the base is even and reaches all the way to the edges. Ideally, the biscuit mix should reach up the sides of the dish or tray by about a centimetre, to help hold in the topping. Place the tray or cake tin in the fridge to set for a couple of hours, or until the base is firm.

4. To create the filling, melt the butter in a saucepan, then slowly add the sugar, stirring until it has completely dissolved.

5. Add the condensed milk and bring the caramel mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly so it doesn’t catch and burn. Allow the caramel to simmer for 1 minute, then take the mixture off the heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

6. Once the caramel has cooled slightly, pour it on top of the biscuit base and leave it to chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

7. Once the banoffee pie is cold, slice the bananas evenly and arrange them on top of the caramel.

8. Lightly whip the double cream until it forms soft peaks, and spread it generously over the top of the banana layer.

9. To finish, finely grate dark chocolate over the top, then return the banoffee pie to the fridge until it is ready to serve. Enjoy it on its own, or with a scoop of ice cream.

Ally McGrath of Osso Restaurant in Peebles