Travels with a Gourmet

a food lover's travels, memorable meals, culinary trials and gastronomic experiences

Another day, another recipe. Since I pulled out The Art of the Tart from my cookbook shelf the other day, I’ve been skimming it for recipes to try. Luckily, we had lots of extra bananas from the market last week and since they were starting to get overripe, I decided to make these banana tarts. I made the puff pastry myself just because I enjoy the challenge but it works fine even with store-bought puff pastry. You can also use thinly-sliced green apples but I prefer it with the bananas.

Banana Tart – from Tamasin Day-Lewis’ (yes she’s Daniel’s sister) The Art of the Tart

  • just over 1 lb. puff pastry
  • 8 ripe but firm small bananas (I used 4 large ones)
  • a pat of unsalted butter, melted for brushing on the tarts
  • confectioners sugar
  • For the Frangipane (almond custard filling):
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg and 1 yolk, beaten together
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • Roll out the dough and stamp out with 4-inch squares or 5-inch discs. Place them on a baking sheet lined with brown paper. With the back of a knife blade, draw a rim just inside each disc, and prick the center with a fork. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400F (200C).

  • For the Frangipane, cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the beaten egg and yolk, then the almonds and flour, beating all the while. Spoon the mixture into the middle of each pastry disc, leaving the rim clear, and enough space for a band of sliced bananas to surround the Frangipane. Fan the bananas around, closely overlapping, then top the Frangipane with the remaining slices. Brush with melted butter, then finish with a fine dusting of sifted sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the bananas are caramelized and shiny and the pastry puffed up and golden. Domestic ovens are not always good at caramelizing, but you can always brûlée the banana tops with a bit more confectioners’ sugar and a blowtorch when they come out of the oven. Serve hot with some dark rum and brown sugar beaten into some heavy cream.
  • Makes 8

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