June 17, 2013

A Sweet Father's Day


Wait...are you going to tell me that not everyone celebrates Father's Day with caramelized bananas and buttery pastry? No? Oh...well then y'all are missing out. 

I think that there might be some unwritten rule about not buying your wife kitchen appliances or cookbooks for major holidays, but Alex knows I am the exception to that rule. He picked up on my heavily dropped hints and gifted me with my very own copy of the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook for Mother's Day, and I'm in love. Serious hard-core food porn love. I want to make EVERYTHING in there, immediately. So in honor of Father's Day, I let him pick his dessert choice. 

RUN, do not walk, straight to your kitchen and make this. It's stupid-easy and knock-your-socks-off delicious. The bananas soak up all the dark caramelized sugar and drip down into the pastry while it bakes in the oven. As Deb of SK says, don't even think about serving this without vanilla ice cream.

Butterscotch Banana Tarte Tatin
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen Cookbook 

Ingredients:All-purpose flour, for work surface
1 sheet frozen puff-pastry dough, thawed in the refrigerator for 1 day
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
5 large ripe (but not speckled) bananas, peeled, halved lengthwise
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tbsp bourbon or Scotch (optional)
Vanilla ice cream, for serving

For this recipe, you’ll need a 9-inch heavy skillet. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Roll out your puff pastry on a floured surface to a 9-inch circle, and trim if necessary. Place the pastry between two pieces of wax paper and transfer to the fridge until needed.

Melt the butter in the skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the sugar, salt, and cinnamon or nutmeg (if using). Cook, stirring frequently to make sure the sugar doesn’t burn, until the mixture turns medium amber, about 3 minutes.

Arrange the bananas in the skillet, overlapping them slightly. Cook, without stirring, for 3 minutes. Drizzle the vanilla and the alcohol of your choice (if using) over the bananas, and cook until most of the liquor has evaporated and the liquid has thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Remove the bananas from heat.

Place the pastry round on top of the bananas, and transfer it to the oven. Bake until the pastry is golden brown and puffed, about 25 minutes. Remove the tarte from the oven, and carefully invert the tart onto a serving plate.