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Caramelised Banana Tarte Tatin With Sea Salt

23 April 2020










Another day in lockdown, another day digging through the archives of my first blog, which I  briefly wrote during my last year at university and first few months living in London.

Like flicking through old photo albums or hearing your voice played back to you, it's been an equally toe-curlingly cringeworthy and fondly nostalgic occupation. Turns of phrase and baking trends that have not aged well stand in for the bad haircuts and questionable clothing choices - I like to think I won't read this post back in seven years time with such disdain, but who knows. And before I move on - remember mug cakes?! Wow but also, ew.

Anyway, a ruby in the rubble was this forgotten recipe for caramelised banana tarte tatin. I remember baking this for my family and being very pleased with the results. I had been inspired by an early episode of Bake Off - back when all four judges/presenters had the same haircut and the contestants didn't have Instagram - where one of the bakers had created something similar.

At the risk of stating the painfully obvious, I think I had also recently discovered the saturation setting on Lightroom, so please forgive the lurid photos. Strangely, my early food photography and styling (or rather, severe lack of) makes me smile rather than grimace.

I hope you're all doing as ok as can be. If the perpetually empty baking section of my local Sainsbury's is anything to go by, you are all experimenting in the kitchen, which makes me so happy.




THE INGREDIENTS
Pastry
if you don't want to make your own pastry, skip this part and use shop bought puff pastry
225g plain flour
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
190g unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
125g cold water
caramel
100g caster sugar
60g butter
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
3 firm bananas
Flakey sea salt, to finish




To make the rough-puff pastry, place the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter, stirring and chopping it a little using a round-ended knife. Once the butter is well coated in flour, add the lemon juice along with 125ml of cold water. Continue mixing and chopping with the knife, until the mixture has formed a rough, soft dough.

Tip this onto a well floured surface, and shape roughly into a square. Roll into a rectangle which is roughly 35x20 cm, then fold into thirds. Roll the pastry out again into another rectangle, and repeat the process. Repeat this 4-5 times. Wrap up your pastry in clingfilm, and leave to cool down in the fridge for a few hours, or preferably overnight.

To make the caramel, heat the sugar in a pan. Avoiding stirring, let it cook until the sugar has melted and taken on a deep golden colour (10 minutes ish). Add the butter and salt, and shake the pan or if needed, quickly whisk together. Immediately, pour into the base of a round oven-proof dish. Sprinkle with flakey sea salt. Cut the bananas into rounds and layer over the caramel.

Roll out the chilled pastry, and cut a circle just bigger than the banana dish. Place on top and tuck around the bananas, then bake at 180C for 40-45 minutes. The tart is cooked when the pastry is golden and firm to the touch. Flip it onto a plate (carefully, as the hot caramel could spill out when you do this) as soon as you take it out of the oven.








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CARAMELISED PEACH DUTCH BABY

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