14 and counting; banana creme brulee tart

what a week it has been…construction, or rather reconstruction, of my house is well underway.  despite the torrential rain of last week, they are almost finished.  the repair of the small section of the foundation required jacking up that part of the house.  luckily, it is an addition and the rest of the house was not affected.  they warned me that walls could crack and that windows could pop out and shater the glass.  no windows shattered but the cracking was unbelievable-every wall is cracked and will need patching.  in the wall just above the repair, it will need new sheetrock since it looks like a road map now.  the good thing, mr. kenmore has recovered and i am baking again-happily!

faced with an ugly bunch of bananas, i decided to try something new.  first i pureed them and then i mixed them into a rich and creamy custard filling. 

the filling was poured into a partially baked tart shell and then it was baked until set.  the results-banana creme brulee tart.

since creme brulee means burned custard, i needed to burn the top of mine.  a thin layer of sugar was sprinkled over the top of the tart.

mr. kenmore assisted by burning the sugar to make a thin and crispy caramelized crust on the top

banana creme brulee tart
1 (9″) tart to serve 8

1 partially baked (9″) tart shell, use any type of crust except one made from crumbs.  my suggestion is to use a dough specifically formulated for tarts.  they usually contain some egg and sugar to make them easier to work with.  for hints on partially baking tart and pie shells, read this previous post.

4 egg yolks

1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon chinese five spice powder (or cinnamon)

3/4 cup banana puree, about 2-3 bananas-make sure they are ripe for the best flavor
3/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup sugar

preheat the oven to 325.  place the tart shell, still in the tart pan, on a sturdy baking tray that will not warp in the oven.  whisk the yolks with the dark brown sugar and the spices.  whisk in the puree and the half and half.  only mix to incorporate, the more you whisk, the more air you incorporate and the less creamy the final texture of the custard will be.  pour into the tart shell and  bake until set, about 20 minutes.  leave the tart in the pan and cool completely.

to make the caramel crust, spread the sugar evenly over the top of the tart so that it is almost a single layer of crystals.  using the broiler or a propane torch (if you have one, which i do not) and carefully melt the sugar.  it will bubble as it gets hot and then will quickly begin to burn.  be careful not to let it burn black or it will be very bitter tasting.  serve immediately, once it sits, for a while, especially in the fridge, the sugar crust melts. 

by the way garrett, i seem to have lost my marbles again…really, i did.  they hit the counter and bounced around the kitchen.  a couple landed in the living room and the cat got at least one.  i also found one in the basement, never a dull moment!

and as always, bake one, take a photo and send it to me-bakinbabe116@aol.com, and you will see it here.  happy baking!

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