Thursday, December 1, 2011

Banana Tarte Tatin

Hot damn this was good.  If you like bananas foster you will L O V E this. 

I couldn't actually tell you how to pronounce tarte tatin, but I can show you how to make it.  Lucky for me, someone left their Bon Appetit October issue in our condo gym so I helped myself and was immediately hypnotized by this beautiful dessert.  I'm one of those who enjoys watching the Food Network and reading recipes while working out so I can plan on how to use my burned calories as quickly as possible.  Makes perfect sense to me. 

So I made a small change to the recipe.  I used unsalted butter and added a couple of pinches of sea salt.  Just a personal preference and an excuse to use my favorite condiment - salt, salt, salty, salt.

Here are our SUPER simple ingredients:
Unsalted Butter
Dark Brown Sugar
Frozen Puff Pastry, Thawed 
Sea Salt

What's really cool about this recipe, is that you can make it as big or small as you want.  I used a 6 inch ramekin because it was just Charlie and I on this particular night so I thought making just one was a good way to avoid eating 42 servings.  I used about a tablespoon of butter to grease the heck out of the bottom and the sides.  I just smushed it around with the back of a spoon.

Add your brown sugar.  Light or dark will do.  I used dark because that's what I had.

Add a couple pinches of sea salt.  Having a hint of salt is incredibly important because it hits a different part of your tongue than sugar does, adding an entirely new dimension to the dish.  You won't taste the salt, but your taste buds will know it's there and they will silently thank you.

I like under ripe bananas.  Not super green ones, but ones that have no bruises and still have a hint of green by the stems.  They are firmer and have a better flavor.  I know everyone else on the planet will disagree with me, but the firmer texture worked very nicely for this recipe.  Under ripe bananas are also less sweet and since I don't have a huge sweet tooth, this worked nicely for me.

With your evenly sliced bananas, pic them up in sections and fan them out carefully.  You can start anywhere, on the side, or in the middle.  Doesn't really matter.  I started on the side and worked my way in.

Eeeeee I love how this looks.  Top Chef Just Desserts, look out.  I'm such a professional pastry chef.  Not.

Let your puff pastry dough thaw on the counter top.

I had an extra ramekin of the same size so I used it as a guide for the puff pastry crust.  I haven't had the time or energy to wrestle with the sticker on the bottom.  Eventually it will peel off on its own.  I would rather wait the ten years.

Just free hand it if you want.  No need to be perfect. I just followed the edges with a small sharp knife.  Took seconds.

So I didn't really think of this before, but having the extra edges was actually important.  It kept the brown sugary glaze from bubbling over. Also, you'll see in the next pic that the puff pastry shrunk up while it was cooking.

Nom nom nom.  I baked this in the oven for 25 minutes until it was golden brown.

I flipped it upside down on a plate.  I just held the plate flush on top and then flipped it over.  It fell out super easily.

This is so pretty!!  The wheels in my head are already spinning.  I can use this exact method to make a million other desserts and savory dishes. How about a mushroom tart?

We didn't have any powdered sugar but we DID have gelato.  I will always have gelato of some sort, that is until I eat it all. Which is pretty likely.  So, let's just say that 50% of the time I'll have gelato.  Don't get greedy on me.

This was so easy and totally company worthy!  It's really beautiful and smells amazing.  The crispy puff pastry pairs so well with the creamy bananas.  Let us know what you think and for the love of bananas, stay hungry!!

Banana Tarte Tatin Recipe
1 Banana
2 Tbs Dark Brown Sugar
1 Tbs of Unsalted Butter
2 Pinches of Sea Salt
Frozen Puff Pastry, thawed

In a six inch ramekin, spread unsalted butter all over bottom and sides.  Sprinkle 2 Tbs of brown sugar on top.  Add pinches of sea salt.  Cut banana in even, thin slices.  Pick up sections of sliced bananas and fan them out so they are overlapping each other, starting on the side of the ramekin.  Repeat and work your way in so bananas coil inward.  Cut slightly larger portion of puff pastry than the circumference of your dish and place on top of bananas.  Tuck in edges.  Cook on 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  This recipe makes 2 servings.  Adjust quantities accordingly for more/less servings. 


  1. I am a true banana fan if it is in a dessert. This looks so delicious.


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