Bananas aren't my favourite fruit. In fact, I mostly buy them for the sole purpose of banana bread, of which I'm a huge fan (especially if it contains chocolate and pecans!). There's the off chance I might grab a few bites if it fits into my banana window. What? You don't know about the banana window? For me, I'll only eat a banana if it's got the faintest bit of green, but not so under-ripe that the peel won't come off cleanly. The texture must be firm. If it goes any longer and I detect mush, then forget about it. Don't even get me started on bananas that have already turned spotty - I'll leave the room if someone eats one of those in front of me. They make fine baking bananas though so into the freezer they go to turn black; at the ready for any impromptu banana bread baking. You're probably thinking I have
I seldom bake with bananas outside of the aforementioned bread, but this recipe from Everyday Food, caught my eyeball and wouldn't let go. Maybe because it called for bourbon. And the picture of all those caramelized bananas and flaky crust sucked me in. Bonus points for me I already had a disc of pastry in the freezer that needed using up. Scorammma! Assembly only took minutes, once the pastry is made. If making pastry freaks the bejeezus out of you, it wouldn't be against the rules to use puff pastry, if that's more your style. Next time that's what I'm going to try. I've also pumped up the caramel just a tad, cuz it needed just a little bit more to make me happy. Okay, so let's get started!
Take some bananas, like 4. Thinly slice.
Melt butter and brown sugar in an ovenproof skillet. Stir in your bourbon or rum if you prefer. It will sizzle! Layer in your bananas...
...and tuck your blanket of pastry over them, rolling the edges inward.
Bake for about 45 minutes - I let mine go about 5 minutes too long, and the bananas were almost candied, which isn't a bad thing, but next time, I'll cut the baking time down a bit. Let the tart stand a few minutes, then invert onto a plate. Pretty! The golden caramelized bananas pair perfectly with the buttery pastry. Serve warm, with whipped cream. Looks like I'll be letting more bananas slip past my window, if only it means I can make this again.
Caramelized Banana & Bourbon Upside-Down Tart
for the crust:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour (spooned and leveled, plus more for work surface)
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3-5 tbsp ice water
for the filling:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup Bourbon or rum or brandy
4 firm yet ripe medium bananas, thinly sliced
To make the crust: in a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, salt. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles coarse meal, with pea-sized bits of butter still showing. Sprinkle with 3 tbsp ice water and pulse until dough is still crumbly yet holds together when squeezed. If necessary, add 2 more tbsp of ice water, but don't over mix. Form dough into a disc and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Make ahead: refrigerate overnight, take out and proceed.
Preheat oven to 375*F. Make filling: in an ovenproof skillet, melt butter and brown sugar, stirring constantly until mixture bubbles, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in your booze. Arrange banana slices in an even layer over sauce.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough out into a 12 inch round. Place on top of bananas and fold overhang inward. Bake until crust is golden and mixture bubbles around the edge - about 40-45 minutes. Invert onto serving plate and serve warm. Serves 6-8. Recipe adapted from Everyday Food, March 2012.