MasterChef Inspired: Banana Tarte Tatin
Banana Tarte Tatin
For this recipe, you can make the puff pastry and chocolate crème anglaise ahead of time.
Vegan Puff Pastry (adapted from Food Network)
10 oz (2 1/2 sticks) earth balance butter, cubed and cold
1/2 cup cold tap water
1 tsp salt
2 cups flour
Begin by cutting the butter and placing it in the freezer. Since it's vegan, the colder it is, the better the puff pastry will be.
Combine the water and salt and stir until dissolved.
Place flour in a large bowl.
Adding a handful of the butter at a time, cut the butter into the flour until butter is absorbed.
Add the water and mix until the dough forms a rough ball.
Scrape the dough from the bowl onto a piece of plastic wrap.
Rolling the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap, shape it into a 12 x 18 inch rectangle.
Peel away the plastic wrap and flip the dough onto a flour work surface.
Remove the second piece of plastic wrap.
Fold the dough into thirds (like you're folding a letter) to make a 6 x 18 inch rectangle.
Press the dough into a square.
Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour, or until firm.
Chocolate Crème Anglaise (adapted from myrecipes)
2 cups almond milk
2 1/2 cups Coffee Mate Natural Bliss Sweet Crème Coconut Milk creamer
1/2 cup sugar
8 egg yolks, whisked
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 Tbsp vanilla
In a 4-quart pan, cook milk, creamer, and sugar over medium heat until the mixture begins to bubble (about 8 minutes).
Remove from the heat.
Whisk 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks to temper the eggs.
Add the egg mixture back into the pan and whisk to combine.
Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard reaches 160 on an instant-read thermometer (about 5-8 minutes).
Remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate until melted and smooth.
Stir in vanilla.
To achieve a truly silky crème anglaise, pour through a fine strainer into a bowl.
Depending on the use of the crème anglaise, let it cool at room temperature, or set the bowl in a larger bowl of ice and water for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to cool the mixture.
Cover with a layer of plastic wrap pressed against the custard and chill.
Banana Tarte Tatin (adapted from watching MasterChef and a recipe from Martha Stewart)
1 recipe puff pastry (or one sheet frozen puff pastry)
6 Tbsp earth balance butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
5 ripe bananas, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp bourbon
Preheat oven to 400.
On a floured surface, roll out the pastry dough. Use your cast iron skillet as a guide to cut out your pastry.
In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt.
Cut the butter into chunks and place it in a cast iron skillet.
Pour the cinnamon mixture over the butter.
Arrange the bananas on top of the cinnamon.
Over medium-high heat, begin to cook the butter, sugar, and bananas. Do not stir.
Drizzle the vanilla and bourbon over the bananas and continue cooking until caramelized (about 235 on an instant-read thermometer). Do not stir.
Remove from the heat and place the pastry over the top, tucking it into the cast iron as you go.
Cut three slits in the top to vent while cooking.
Transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and invert onto a serving plate.
Serve warm or at room temperature and top with a drizzle of chocolate crème anglaise.
Watching cooking shows often leads to experiments in my kitchen. Last week on MasterChef, the home cooks in the elimination round watched Gordon make a tarte tatin and then had to make their own. A slightly complex French dessert, I knew I had to try to make one.
Gordon suggested that peaches, apples, or pears are the easiest fruits to use for this dessert, but Sam and I wanted banana. After watching the home cooks attempt this dish--most of them did a pretty great job considering many of them had never made one before--I found a recipe for puff pastry, a crème anglaise I might actually like, and the banana tarte tatin. While Martha Stewart's method differs from the one used on MasterChef, I trusted that the cook time and ingredients could be used the same way Gordon showed the home cooks.
I planned this dessert for the fourth of July. Since Sam and I are in the process of moving, we did not have our usual fourth of July party filled with cupcakes, cookie cake, and grilling. We had Beyond Burgers and I made dessert in between binging the new season of Stranger Things.
While my banana tarte tatin is not perfect, I think it's good enough to keep me safe in the MasterChef kitchen.
Notes for Next Time
*The caramel was not burnt, but it was a bit too sticky. This could be because I was baking at altitude; however, next time, I'll keep my caramel a bit under the 235 mark as it will continue to cook in the oven.
*Make a half-batch of the crème anglaise. While it turned out nicely, there's a lot of it and now I have to figure out what to do with the rest of it (not the worst problem to have)
*Tuck the pastry around the bananas better.
*Roll the pastry thinner as it will puff when baking and deceive you into thinking it's fully cooked. The pastry wasn't that under cooked, but if I'd rolled it just a bit thinner, it would've been perfect.