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When it comes to Easter traditions, every family has their own version of celebrating. For us, we start off by enjoying an early morning church service with friends and family, and then there’s the afternoon must-have egg hunt for the little ones, and of course, a gorgeous spread with a massive glazed ham as the main attraction.
As a southerner, I have grown up with an array of traditional and tasty recipes that we would enjoy every year, but through the years, those traditions evolved and have become more of a hybrid of different cultures. This is in part due to the fact, that as an adult, I spent quit a lot of time traveling and living in other countries. Over time, I decided that “hey, I’m adult now … with kids”, and I created my own traditions. Now our once all southern Easter menu, is now a fusion of recipes from England and Ireland, and of course, from my darling southern roots.
In addition to a serious amount of glazed ham, our menu looks a bit more like this now:
- Glazed Ham and/or Roasted Leg of Lamb (bahhh).
- Colcannon, an Irish recipe of mashed potatoes and cabbage.
- Green Beans, southern style … make that Georgia style (there’s bacon in it).
- Deviled Eggs, of which we frequently refer to as Angel Eggs (that’s my mom’s influence), a bit more fitting on Easter Sunday anyway.
- Rolls and BISCUITS, I’m talking southern, layered and a must have.
- Roasted Cauliflower, my nod to my time in England and Ireland.
- Sweet Iced Tea, a southerners ideal world always has it on the table.
- Elderflower Cordial mixed with sparkling water to make up a very English and refreshing drink.
- For Dessert …. Hummingbird Cake, makes me smile every time, and also an oh so English Banoffee Pie that finishes off our Easter meal beautifully!
I love to decorate our table with that light and airy feel of spring. One of the best ways to get inspired is to walk into a Cost Plus World Market! Every time I’m in there, I easily find gorgeous treasures including my now favorite cake stand and cake server, let me just say that I’ve been making a lot more cakes and pies lately just so I can use them. 😉
You know when you find something, and you keep coming back to it … that’s when you know you really, really like it. Well, that’s pretty much what I did with these Moroccan tea glasses, and the adorable little glass cloches with itty bitty bunny scenes in them! As my daughter would say, “They’re adorbs!”. It doesn’t take a lot to make your table stand out, just a few items to add to the theme of your dinner party, really makes it all come together nicely.
There are so many beautiful finds at Cost Plus World Market that I love, but one of the main reasons I enjoy going is to explore their grocery/food selection. You can find food items from all around the world, and since Banoffee Pie is traditionally made with a crust using Digestive Biscuits, I knew without hesitation, where to go.
For this recipe, I’ve saved you a few steps by cutting out making the dulce de leche from scratch or boiling up cans of sweetened condensed milk, something that if not done right can cause a sticky and explosive mess. My solution, buy a jar of pre-made dulce de leche! You can easily find the ingredients I used at Cost Plus World Market, including the dulce de leche, the elderflower cordial which you mix with sparkling water, the digestive biscuits, and a fair amount of dark chocolate.
It’s really no secret, I’m a dark chocolate fan, to put it mildly, and one of the best chocolates that I enjoy is by Brix, literally it’s a brick of chocolate! So of course, I had to use some of it to top off this easy to make and decadent Banoffee Pie! You know what else it’s amazing with? Wine. Just thought I’d throw that one out there for ya. 😉
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My “how I get it done” tips:
To make things go smoothly, I’ve found that there are two things that help keep things a bit less chaotic.
The first is to plan out your menu, and if there is anything that you can make a day or two ahead, always do it. This will save you time, headaches, and allow you to enjoy your friends and family more.
Secondly, if you have the space, have 2 – 3 serving tables space out. The main one for your main meal, and at least one more for drinks and desserts. This allows for less stampeding and hurt toes, and lets everyone spread out, and not wait as long if all they want is to grab a drink. If you have room for a third “station” divide them into a drinks corner and a dessert table, with its own cutlery and stacking plates.
On to the only table that matters to me, the dessert table! I love this table, it’s always beckoning me to stay a while, to linger and enjoy a number of sweets that will put a smile on my face … along with that cream and chocolate from the last bite of Banoffee Pie I just had.
If you have your own Easter traditions that your family enjoy, I would love to hear about them!
I wish you and yours a blessed and Happy Easter!
Our Easter Traditions + Banoffee Pie
A crazy easy to make dessert, Banoffee Pie, with plenty of cream, bananas, toffee/caramel and a bit of chocolate to make all things right.
For the Shell:
- 6 oz Unsalted Butter, melted
- 10 oz Digestive Biscuits/Cookies, crushed to a fine powder (I used McVitie's Digestives)
For the Filling:
- 15 oz Dulce de Leche, (I love Gaucho Ranch's brand)
- 2 - 4 Bananas, sliced
- Lemon Juice, just a little to keep the bananas from discoloring
To Top it Off:
- 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
- 2 Tbls, very strong coffee mixed with 1 Tbls sugar, cooled (optional)
- Grated or curled Dark Chocolate, such as Brix
- Lightly butter an 8 - 9 inch tart pan (preferably with a removable bottom, or you can use a springform pan).
- Melt the butter over low heat or in the microwave, cool.
- In a food processor, add the Digestives and pulse until you have a fine crumb. Alternatively place the Digestives in a zipper plastic bag and bash away or roll with a rolling pin.
- Pour the cooled, melted butter into the processor and mix until well combined with the Digestives.
- Transfer to the buttered tart pan, pressing down evenly across the bottom and up the sides.
- Place the tart pan into the refrigerator for at least 15 - 30 minutes to allow the shell to firm.
- Once the shell is ready, spoon the Dulce de Leche and spread evenly.
- Top the Dulce de Leche with sliced Bananas that have been lightly tossed with Lemon Juice to prevent them from discoloring. Two Bananas will evenly cover the Dulce de Leche. If you desire a more Banana flavor, add up to 2 more sliced Bananas.
- Place pie in the refrigerator to keep cool while you make the Whipped Cream.
- In a mixer, add the Whipping Cream, start off on low, then increase the speed to medium, whipping until soft peaks form.
- If you are using the sweetened Coffee to flavor the cream, fold in to swirl it into the cream.
- Now all you need to do is lovingly add the Whipped Cream over the Bananas, and top off with grated or curled Chocolate.
- Keep in fridge until ready to serve. Can keep for up to 2 days.
- Serve and Enjoy!
If you prefer to sweeten your whipped cream, you can add in 2 Tbls Sugar along with the whipping cream, and whisk until soft peaks form.I do not add sugar, as I find that when blended with the Dulce de Leche, it is plenty sweet.