Writings on curious recipes, food I've tasted around the world and the quest for finding the perfect blueberry muffin.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Banana Tarte Tatin - welcome back and Happy New Year!

Sugar. Butter. Bananas. Homemade flaky pastry. 

I figure, I shouldn't dare show up here again, if I'm not going to bring the good stuff. I also figure - though I admit I'm no diet expert - that any New Year's Resolution Diets people might have that don't involve these things, are not worth pursuing. We're supposed to welcome and celebrate the new year, and I believe you can't do that with celery sticks.

I actually did have a New Year's Resolution - to be more patient, take things more lightly, and not be as stubborn - (okay, make that resolutionS), but I'm pretty sure I broke all of those within the first 35 minutes of being awake on New Year's Day. And I am totally sure that I broke all of those while making this tarte. You see, at first, not wanting to be patient, I melted down my sugar in a little bit of water over way too high a heat. As a result, the mixture was all bubbly and caramely but the sugar hadn't had time to dissolve, leaving the caramel full of sugar crystals - not okay. 

Then I did it right, but tried to pour the caramel from the skillet into a smaller baking form to bake the tarte in. But the caramel ended up sticking everywhere except for in the form and I started cussing and gesticulating, hence not taking things lightly at all. But of course, being as stubborn as I am - and having my head set on making this tarte and making it right, regardless of whether I had the correct form, (or the right amount of bananas, for that matter) I didn't give up. 

I stuck the smaller form into the skillet, (and tried my best to ignore the caramel that seeped through underneath), cut the banana chunks thinner, so that they would line the surface of the form and hoped for the best.  

And you know what? 

Maybe we shouldn't nix all of our bad habits after all.* Because it would have been a shame if my less stubborn self had simply given up. 

4 ingredients, 10 minute assembly if you are not as ridiculous as me, and a completely satisfying, deliciously sweet (but not cloyingly so) dessert. That looks impressive and will be gone in a flash.

In other words: Happy New Year, I'm back and please, help yourself to a slice of this Banana Tarte Tatin

Banana Tarte Tatin

for 1 20cm // 8-inch skillet (because why overcomplicate things and try and do them in a 6-inch form?)


200-250g // 7-9oz homemade flaky pastry** or top quality, store bought all butter puff pastry
100g // 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
40g // 3 tablespoons of butter, cut into little pieces
3 to 4 large, ripe bananas, sliced into 2.5 // 1-inch pieces


Roll out flaky pastry/puff pastry onto parchment paper sheet and with sharp cuts (no "sawing actions") cut a 10-inch round dough from the pastry, then prick the entire surface of the round with a fork (I forgot to do that...). If you want, you can brush the pastry with an egg wash (combine one egg with a pinch of salt and pass it through a sieve). Place on baking sheet and refrigerate until use.

Preheat the oven to 190°C // 375°F.

In a 20cm // 8-inch, ovenproof skillet, melt the sugar with 2 tablespoons of water over low heat, without stirring, making sure the sugar dissolves before the mixture starts to bubble and caramelize. Once the sugar has dissolved you can turn the heat up. Watch the pan closely - you are looking for a deep golden color. Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in the butter.
Lay the banana pieces, cut-side down and close together in an even layer over the caramel. Cover with the puff pastry round. If using egg wash, brush the surface of the pastry again.

Place skillet on baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 50 minutes, making sure you do not open the oven door for the first 20 minutes. The tarte is baked when the pastry has puffed and has a nice golden brown color. Carefully transfer skillet to wire rack and let the tarte cool, so that the bananas continue to absorb the caramel.

To serve, rewarm in the oven at 180°C // 350°F for 10 minutes, then invert carefully onto serving plate. The tarte is best eaten the day it's made and right after it has been flipped, to ensure that the pastry stays crisp (but that shouldn't be a problem...).


*I am, however, going to try to post on this site more regularly, again. I really love this place and miss you all. Here's to hoping I can juggle this site, school, and a social life.
**The homemade flaky pastry is from school. It's really not as difficult as people make it out to be and if anyone wants the recipe, let me know and I'll post it.


cookingwithmarica said...

I love tarte tatin so this new version for me is very good! I'm an Italian blogger and I discovered your blog because I was looking for Vienna's restaurant!

littlemissdids said...

Thanks, I hope you enjoy it! :) And welcome - I'm happy you found my blog!

kyleen said...

I pretty much broke my resolutions on New Year's Day too. My first resolution? To go to sleep earlier (I went to sleep at like three that day). My second resolution to stop procrastinating (I went to sleep at three that day because I was watching a movie with a friend). My third resolution? To eat more healthy foods. Looks like that resolutions going to broken when I make this Banana Tarte Tatin.

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