Pastries and anything to do with dough are two things that scare me. I throw in the towel whenever I’m faced with a challenge like that and I don’t even know why. Maybe it’s because I feel that it’s so easy to get something like bread so wrong; as much as I use precise measurements, there are still many factors that come into play such as temperature, mixing and kneading, time etc. It scares me and hey, I’m only human.
So imagine how ecstatic I was when these tartlets came out better than I ever imagined; no soggy bottoms, no cracks, just a lovely sturdy biscuity shortcrust pastry case capable of nestling its banana custard filling and lashings of sweet sweet toffee sauce. Although optional, I particularly loved the slices of fresh banana on top because altogether they kinda had this soft serve ice creamy taste which is just pure bliss.
A dessert like this is perfect for when you’ve got those almost black bananas that no one will eat laying around; DON’T THROW THEM AWAY, make this instead or a banana cake and everyone will be grateful you made that decision. We only had 8 of the pastry tins but I’m pretty sure I could’ve got about 2 more out of the remaining dough, so the only downside was that there wasn’t enough. I have a big family so we could only have one each. Wellllll two for me seeing as I had to endure the labour of love..
For the sweet shortcrust pastry
- 250g plain flour
- 25g icing sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 150g chilled butter, cubed (if using normal butter tubs, skip the salt above. If unsalted butter blocks then include the salt)
- 2 medium egg yolks
- 1 egg white
For the banana custard filling
- 25g plain flour
- 30g sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 2tsp vanilla essence
- 150ml milk
- 50ml double cream
- 2 extremely soft bananas, mashed
For the toffee sauce
- 25g butter
- 35g caster sugar
- 25g light brown sugar
- 75g golden syrup
- 85ml evaporated milk
Starting with the pastry, sift the flour, salt (if needed), sugar and add the butter into a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs then add the egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of cold water. Pulse again then take out and knead gently into a smooth round dough.
If you don’t own a food processor then unfortunately you can’t make this. Just kidding. I’m pretty sure you could use your fingertips when you add the butter, water and yolks, the result should be the same.
Wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave it in the fridge for 30 mins.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface so that it’s thin but not see through then transfer unto the tins and ensure that the rolled dough is touching every part of the tin inside.
Using a fork, prick the bottom of the pastry then leave in the fridge to chill for 25 mins.
While it’s getting chilled, preheat the oven to gas mark 6.
Start making the custard. Heat the milk and double cream in a pan on low/medium heat. In a bowl, mix the remaining ingredients together then pour into the pan and whisk gently for about 4 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick.
After 25 minutes, line the pastry cases with greaseproof paper and fill with ceramic beans or uncooked rice. Bake in the oven for 13 minutes until it has an underdone biscuit colour to it.
Take out the greaseproof paper and the beans then pop back into the oven for 4 minutes. Remove, brush with the egg whites then put back into the oven for 2 minutes. Remove it again and turn the oven down to gas mark 1/2.
Pour the filling (about 2 tablespoons each) into the pastry cases and bake for 45 minutes. Take them out of the oven and leave to cool while you make the toffee sauce.
For the sauce, melt the butter, sugars and syrup in a pan. Leave to boil and stir occasionally for 5 minutes (start timing from when they ingredients hit the pan).
Pour into a small bowl, add the evaporated milk and mix until thick and light brown in colour.
Sprinkle the tarlet with icing sugar decorate with banana the add drizzles of the toffee sauce.
Nom nom nom.
Do you feel the same way when it comes to pastries and dough? How did you get over this trivial ‘phobia’?