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Caramelized Banana Tart with a Lime
Linzer Crust and a Warm Caramel Sauce



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Caramelized Banana Tart with a Lime
Linzer Crust and a Warm Caramel Sauce

In the Sweet Kitchen: The Definitive Baker's Companion
In the Sweet Kitchen:
The Definitive Baker's Companion

by Regan Daley. 2001, Artisan
2001 IACP Cookbook of the Year Award

Serves 8

“Like the original Linzer tart, this dessert is really a cross between a cake and a
tart. Here, a tropical variation: a cake-like dough laced with lime surrounds a
layer of soft caramelized banana slices. The combination is big on flavour but
not too sweet, overwhelming or heavy/ Perfect for a simple dessert, or with a
cup of coffee or tea.”

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup finely ground pecans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Seeds of 1/2 plump vanilla bean,
hull reserved for another use
[such as making vanilla sugar], or
substitute 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
Freshly grated zest of 1 lime (about 1 teaspoon)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
Finely grated zest and freshly
squeezed juice of 1 lime
1/3 cup dark rum
1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
5 medium to large bananas,
mostly but not overly ripe

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the flour, ground nuts, baking powder, spices, sugar and vanilla seeds, then stir
with a fork or whisk to blend. In a separate bowl, whisk together the
egg, the yolk, lime zest and the vanilla extract, if using. Add the soft
butter in dollops to the dry ingredients and use your fingers to rub it
in, kneading gently with just the tips of your fingers until a soft, sticky
dough is formed. Add the egg mixture to this, mixing the dough with a
wooden spoon or a stiff rubber spatula until the egg is completely and
evenly incorporated. It is a strange dough! It should be very soft and
floppy, and quite wet and sticky. Scoop about 1/3 of the dough into a
sturdy pastry bag fitted with a medium-sized plain tip and set aside.
Spread the remaining 2/3 of dough over the bottom of a 10 1/2- or
11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Don’t spread the batter
up the sides, but concentrate on getting it relatively even across the
bottom. Set the pan aside.

2. Prepare the bananas: in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the brown sugar, lime juice and zest and rum. Stir constantly
over low heat until the sugar melts and dissolves completely. Increase
the heat to medium, and bring the syrup to a boil, then reduce the heat
to a simmer. Simmer for about 30 seconds, then whisk in the butter
by tablespoonfuls, keeping the pan over the heat. After another 30
seconds, remove the pot from the element.
3. Peel the bananas and slice them into rounds of about 1/3 to 1/2 inch
thick. (You should have about 3 1/2 to 4 cups of slices.) Return the
syrup to the heat and add the banana slices. Gently move the bananas
around with a wooden spoon or a heatproof spatula, being careful
not to mash or bruise them. When all of the slices are well coated with
the syrup, transfer the pot to a heatproof pad on the counter beside the
tart pan. A pair of small tongs are almost essential for the next step:
tenderly remove the slices one by one from their warm syrup and lay
them overlapping on the layer of dough. The pattern is up to you - I
like concentric circles or straight stripes, but you can create whatever
design  makes you happy. The grouping can be reasonably dense,
especially if your slices are on the thin side. Transfer the syrup to
a small container and set aside to cool.
4. With the reserved batter, pipe a circle around the perimeter of the
tart, then pipe three or four stripes in a crosshatch pattern over
the banana slices. The batter will spread quite a bit, so don’t pipe
your lines too close together. You want to be able to see the glossy
bananas between the cake. Place the tart on a baking sheet to catch
any escaping caramel and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the
batter is puffed, golden and firm to the touch in the centre. Trans-
fer to a rack and cool 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Using a pair of oven mitts, or a couple of kitchen towels, carefully
loosen the sides of the tart by pushing up the bottom every few
inches, making sure the tart isn’t sticking to the rim. If it is, use a
small, thin knife to pry the cake away from the pan. When you’re
sure it is free, remove the sides and allow the cake to cool com-
pletely. The tart is best served the day it is made, but can be kept,
well covered, at room temperature for up to two days. The cake
absorbs moisture from the bananas upon sitting and will be softer
and somewhat heavier the next day. Serve the tart with a healthy
spoonful of the warmed caramel sauce.

Featured Archive Recipes:
Francisco's Banana Walnut Tart
Charlie Trotter's Two-Berry Linzertorte
with Black Pepper Anglaise

Spago's Strawberry Linzer Torte
Coconut-Cardamom Custard Tart with
Oven-Roasted Bananas

Lime Curd and Toasted Almond
Tart with Fruit Compote


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