I often find myself making tarts more on request than on whim. The rich buttery shortcrust pastry is as yummy as it is fattening. Not something I’d be tempted to bake every other week. I guess you can substitute shortcrust by puff pastry or other no-bake crumb crusts but then you’d compromise the authenticity of the Mauritian tart.

My google image searches for tarte à la banane did not turn up with anything remotely looking like our local tarts, hence the recette mauricienne tag. Instead of slicing the bananas, I mash them up and cook them to a thick gooey consistency before filling my tart shell.

I find it more convenient to make a large tart rather smaller individual servings. My 9″ fluted pan was a gift from my fave auntie some years back. She has a knack of knowing exactly what to buy for me. But then it’s not as difficult. Kitchen stuff would make the ideal gift for smone like me :)

I have an evergrowing wish list of baking pans, kitchen tools, serviceware and recipe books.  Currently in love with the Heritage Bundt Pan from Williams Sonoma. Can anyone get it for me? :S

TARTE à LA BANANE

 

Ingredients:
For Tart Shell
150g [1cup] all purpose flour + xtra for dusting
100g good quality butter, cubed

For Filling
5-6 medium sized or 4 large bananas
3-4 tbs sugar, acc to taste
2 tsp toasted coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract

For Lattice
150g [1 cup] all purpose flour
75g good quality butter, cubed
Milk, for glazing

 

Method:

  • Place 100g butter in a bowl and sift over 1 cup flour.
  • Knead into a soft dough. You may need to add extra flour to achieve the correct consistency. Do not add water and try to handle dough as little as you can. This will give you a nice flaky shortcrust shell.
  • Use good quality butter like Lurpak or President to give a rich buttery flavour. You do not need to bring it down to room temperature.
  • For a twist add ground nuts [almond/hazelnut/cashews] to the dough.

 

  • Press dough into a 9 inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom.
  • Use a flat bottomed glass to level the surface till crust is uniform in thickness. Freeze crust for about 30 minutes.
  • Now prepare the lattice in the same way as you did for the tart shell. Kead into a soft ball and flatten into a disc. Wrap in clingfilm and freeze for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove tart shell from fridge and prick all over with a fork. Bake in oven preheated at 300oF for 15-20 minutes.

 

  • Meanwhile prepare banana filling. Overripe bananas with brown to black skin are ideal for this. Peel and mash well with 3-4 tbs sugar.
  • Add toasted coconut and vanilla extract and mix well.
  • In a heavy based pan, cook bananas under high heat till it turns a shade darker and comes together in a mass. It will stop sticking to base and sides of pan. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Cooking will not cause the bananas to brown as in the finished tart. The final brown colour is a result of baking, so dnt overcook.
  • Your tart shell should also be done by now. Remove from oven.

 

  • Drop tablespoons of filling in shell and level surface. Do not be tempted to overfill as it may overflow during baking.
  • Remove lattice from fridge. Roll out between sheets of parchment paper until 1/4 inch thick. Cut into long strips 1 cm wide with a knife or pizza cutter or cut out fancy shapes with a cookie cutter.
  • Layer strips in a crisscross pattern over filling. Press ends into crust.
  • Dnt worry if the strips break off. Just patch them together with milk.
  • Brush lattice generously with milk glaze and return to oven.

 

  • Bake at 300oF for 45-60 minutes on lower shelf till crust is golden.
  • Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Slice with a sharp knife.
  • Serve warm or cold with a cup of tea/coffee.

You can make the tart shell in advance and leave it in your freezer for days. I use the same basic crust recipe for quiche and tarte au chocolat.

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