Saturday, March 21, 2015

butterscotch banana tarte tatin.

March is one of those funny months where I get particularly confused when it comes to eating.  Winter citrus is kind of done and the farmers markets are practically empty except for potatoes and some sad looking carrots. At this point one just feels sick of everything (most notably their winter boots and parkas).  

But usually in March I begin to develop a fondness for bananas. Slathered in peanut butter they make for a most excellent breakfast and nestled in pockets of butterscotch they become a most epic dessert. The kind of dessert that transports you to a place that isn't New York on the first day of spring when it's supposed to snow 3-6 inches (I think we all need to be transported to our happy place right about now.)

Tarte tatin is one fancy looking dessert.  People squeal for it.  But in all honesty it's one of the simplest things you can make.  It's essentially ripe fruit, sugar, and puff-pastry.  It's a one pan dish!  Let's think about that for a second.  This butterscotch banana one is EVERYTHING I want to be eating right now seeing as bananas and caramel just go together.  I recommend serving generous wedges to the ones you love and topping each slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a  sprinkle of cooca nibs (for crunch).  It serves as a nice distraction from everything else.   

Butterscotch Banana Tarte Tatin
Recipe from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

All-purpose flour, for work surface
1 sheet frozen puff-pastry dough, thawed in the refrigerator for 1 day (I beg of you to get the all-butter one by Dufour)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
5 large ripe (but not speckled) bananas, peeled, halved lengthwise
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tbsp bourbon or Scotch (optional)
Vanilla ice cream and cocoa nibs (optional), for serving

For this recipe, you’ll need a 9 or 10-inch heavy-duty skillet (cast-iron works great). Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Roll out your puff pastry on a floured surface to a 9- [or 10] inch circle, and trim if necessary. Place the pastry between two pieces of wax paper and transfer to the fridge until needed. 

Melt the butter in the skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the sugar and salt. Cook, stirring frequently to make sure the sugar doesn't burn, until the mixture turns medium amber, about 3 minutes. Arrange the bananas in the skillet, overlapping them slightly. Cook, without stirring, for 3 minutes. Drizzle the vanilla and the alcohol of your choice (if using) over the bananas, and cook until most of the liquor has evaporated and the liquid has thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Remove the bananas from heat. Place the pastry round on top of the bananas, and transfer it to the oven.

Bake until the pastry is golden brown and puffed, about 25 minutes. Remove the tarte from the oven, and carefully invert the tart onto a serving plate. Serve with vanilla ice cream.  

No comments:

Post a Comment