For quite some time now, since our move back to the East Coast, I’ve been wanting to try out my skill in making Tartine’s Banana Cream Tart. While in SF, we lived about 2 miles south of Tartine. I’d load the kids up in the stroller, hike up Guerrero, then park my self at a table with a giant latte and usually a morning bun. On a “special” occassion I’d reward myself with the banana cream tart. I mean, I did just walk 2 miles, pushing a stroller, up hill…. Plus, I had to walk walk 2 miles back home too. If you are in San Francisco, you MUST get yourself a banana cream tart. At least share it with a friend!
This tart was challenging but fun to make! There were a few different parts that needed to be made and then put together to create this perfect masterpiece; pastry dough, caramel, pastry cream, and whipped cream. Be ready for lots of pictures. I shall now take you on my delicious journey.
I started with the flakey pastry dough. Luckily, its a pretty standard recipe that can be made right in your food processor. I could not imagine trying to cut in all the butter without my Cuisinart. The most important thing to remember when making pastry dough is you want your ingredients to be COLD. Keep the butter in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. After all of the ingredients are combined, the dough needs to cool for at least 2 hours before you use it.
Next I decided to tackle the pastry cream. This was my first time making pastry cream. I was worried because the cookbook strongly encourages you not to let the milk burn, and to be careful because if overcooked the eggs can can cause the milk to curdle and so on. Luckily, I was quite careful and the pastry cream was a success! The only thing I may do different next time is to take the cream off the heat a bit earlier. After I tempered the eggs and added them back to the milk, the mixture was not thickening so I turned the heat up a little and then it thickened quite quick. The recipe calls for you to pour the mixture through a small sieve strainer, but mine definitely did not pour. I ended up using my pasta strainer and pushing my custard like cream through it with a rubber spatula. It turned out smooth and creamy. I could not stop dipping my finger into the bowl!
As the pastry cream cooled, I rolled out my pastry dough and pressed it into individual tartlet pans. I baked the dough until golden and after they cooled, I applied a layer of melted bittersweet chocolate, and put them in the fridge to set.
While that continued to cool, I began the caramel! Again, this was another first for me. I’ve been planning on making caramels for a while, but I kept chickening out. It was actually much easier than I thought it would be. There are two parts to making the caramel. One saucepan was needed to heat and keep cream warm in prep to add it to the other sauce pan, which was basically sugar and corn syrup. It took just about 8 minutes exactly for the sugar pot to come to a nice amber color. Once that happened I removed it from the heat and added the warm cream. After it settled down, I whisked in the butter and let it cool. YUM! The sauce was then drizzled over the tart shell.
Now time to build the rest of the tart! First came the pastry cream. It set up absolutely pefectly. I put a dollop on each tart shell and smoothed it around until I could not see the chocolate anymore. Then I diced up 2 bananas and placed the bananas on top.
Once the bananas were in place, I slathered on the homemade whipped cream. That was then topped with bittersweet chocolate shavings and a dusting of powdered sugar. After everything was in place, I had to put the tarts back into the fridge to keep cool. My husband had a meeting and I wanted to enjoy this dessert with him! As soon as he got home, I ran to the fridge, pulled the tarts out, took a few pictures and dug in!
The delicious combination of EVERY ingredient was amazing on my tastebuds. It brought me right back to Tartine. The only thing I was missing was a latte, and the 4 mile walk which made me feel a little less bad about indulging. At least I’m still eating for two! To make these on your own, I am going to continue to urge you to invest in the Tartine cookbook. Its amazing. Otherwise, get yourself to SF and buy yourself a banana cream tart. Its worth it! Enjoy!