A Recreation of Dona Manis’ Banana Pie

I’ve heard so much about the banana pie at Dona Manis, a traditional bakery in Singapore. When I asked people who have had it what they like about it, they say that it is the texture of having both a flaky pastry and a buttery crust, and the winning flavour combination of chewy coconut, slightly crunchy almonds and soft bananas. It sounded absolutely mindblowing so I thought I would try to recreate it even though I’ve never had it before. While most banana pies in the West are cream pies and are not baked, the Dona Manis banana pie seems to be inspired by the coconut tarts that are very popular amongst the Cantonese.

Banana Pie

Makes a 11″ tart

Flaky pie crust:

75g cold butter, diced

105g flour

5g sugar

Pinch of salt

50g water

1. Combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt in a bowl.

2. Rub the butter into the flour until you get a rubble-like mixture.

3. Add the water in gradually until the dough is just able to bind together.

4. Pat the dough out on a floured surface, cut in half, stack the two halves and repeat twice more.

5. Trace the outline of an 11” tart pan onto a sheet of parchment.

6. Cut pie dough into slices and using the outline as a guide, plate the slices in a circle on the parchment.

7. Cover with another sheet of parchment and roll it out slightly thinner.

8. Chill for 5-10 minutes.

9. Using a knife, cut along the outline – this will be the outer circumference.

10. Cut an inner circumference for the circle to form a neat ring.

11. Place in the fridge while you work on the other components.

Shortcrust pastry:

130g butter

1 ½ tablespoon oil

65g water

15g sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

240g flour

1. Preheat the oven to 210C.

2. Combine the butter, oil, water, sugar and salt and place in the oven for 15 minutes or until butter is bubbling and starting to brown.

3. Add the flour and stir until the dough clears from the sides and is well combined.

3. Press it out onto the base and sides of the greased 11” tart pan.

4. Bake 15min.

Filling:

5 bananas

300g grated coconut, preferably the finer variety

30g coconut cream

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

50g sugar

30g gula melaka or black sugar

100g almond meal

1 egg

40g melted butter

10g chopped almonds

1 egg yolk + 1 tablespoon water

1. Lower the oven to 190C.

2. Peel the bananas and slice thickly.

3. Scatter the slices over the tart crust.

4. In a bowl, stir together the coconut, coconut cream, baking powder, salt, sugars, almond meal, egg and butter.

5. Pour over the bananas and smooth out to form an even surface.

6. Top with the flaky pastry and press with fingers to mould it onto the tart pan, making contact with the shortcrust.

7. Scatter over the chopped almonds and eggwash the pastry.

8. Bake for 45minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

9. Cool completely before slicing for the cleanest slices.

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Author:

Pamelia Chia is a Singaporean chef and the author of the bestselling cookbook ‘Wet Market to Table’. After graduating with an Honor’s degree in Food Science and Technology from the National University of Singapore in 2014, she decided to trade a food scientist’s lab coat in for chef whites. She has since been working in restaurants in Singapore and Melbourne, including Candlenut and Carlton Wine Room. Her deepest interest being the preservation and celebration of Singaporean food heritage and culture, she started Singapore Noodles in 2020 as a platform to share about Singaporean food to a global audience. Find her on Instagram @pameliachia.

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