Many people are a bit shy when it comes to baking a Tarte Tatin but it’s a cinch, especially if you use commercial puff pastry. I usually make all dough myself but when it comes to puff pastry I never really bother because great quality commercial dough exist already.
Tart tatin is nothing more than caramelized fruit topped with a layer of puff pastry, baked and then dramatically inverted to reveal a gorgeous gooey, fruit-topped dessert.
The most complex step I would say is making the dry caramel, but all that really involves is melting butter and sugar together, some stirring, and a careful eye to make sure it doesn’t burn. Aside from that, it’s just placing the bananas in the pan, topping with a layer of pastry, and then a half-hour in the oven.
I truly believe that every passionate cook should have at least one dessert recipe in their repertoire and to me this is a great one to keep in your back pocket. It has all of the elements of a more labor-intensive dessert—beautiful presentation, rich flavors, even a fancy French name 😉 but none of the time-consuming parts, like measuring, mixing, creaming, and whipping.
The only one thing that I need to warn you on is to be careful with that caramel. Especially when flipping the tart upside down because you really really really can burn yourself quite badly. Don’t even think to put your fingers to taste the caramel that would be the worse idea ever! Trust me when I say that I know what I am talking about because I did it and ended up with a burned fingers for a MONTH…
Apart from that the tarte is a “délice” and I can assure you that anyone who will try it will compliment you on it 😉 Plus it’s so easy and quick to make that it’s almost the dessert to go to for dinner parties.
Banana Tarte Tatin served with Whisky infused Whipped Cream
Cooking time: 45mins
– 45gr butter
– 150gr sugar
– 1 tsp sea salt
– 2 tbsp heavy cream
– juice of 1lemon + zest
– 2 tsp good quality whisky
– 5 bananas, cut into chunks and halved lengthwise (ripe, but still firm)
– 1 sheet puff pastry, preferably all-butter
– 250ml whipping cream
– 2tbsp crystal sugar
– 1tbsp good quality whisky
– Flaky sea salt, to serve (I prefer Fleur de Sel)
Preheat the oven to 200° C.
In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sugar and salt. Cook, whisking occasionally until the sugar has melted and turned medium-amber, about 6-7 minutes.
Cook the caramel a shade or two less that your desired final result as it will continue to caramelize in the oven.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the cream, then the lemon juice and whisky. Use caution as the caramel is extremely hot and will bubble up when you add the liquid ingredients. Don’t worry if it seizes a bit, just keep whisking until it’s smooth again.
Very carefully transfer the hot caramel to your baking dish. Working quickly, spread the caramel with a spoon or flexible spatula to the corners of the dish before it hardens.
Arrange the bananas, cut-side-down over the caramel, trimming them as necessary to make them fit.
Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Using a sharp knife, trace a circle slightly larger than the bottom of your baking dish. Carefully lay the trimmed puff pastry over the bananas, tucking the excess dough between the bananas and the side of the dish.
Bake until the puff pastry has risen and is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Remove the tarte tatin from the oven and let it rest for a couple of minutes. Run a sharp knife around the sides of the baking dish to loosen any puff pastry or caramel that may have stuck. If there is caramel pooling in the bottom of the dish, carefully pour it off. But do not throw it away–it is DELICIOUS.
Place a large platter or rimmed sheet pan over the baking dish. Grasp the baking dish and platter or sheet pan firmly with oven mitts or kitchen towels and invert them quickly. (They key is to flip quickly without hesitating.) Remove the baking dish.
Just before serving whip the cream, once arrive to desired consistency add in the sugar and whisky.
Serve the tarte tatin warm or at room temperature lightly sprinkled with sea salt AND with a dollop of the whisky infused whipped cream.
Personally my friends and I enjoyed the Tarte with a glass of that same whisky I added in the recipe. I love the whisky from “The Singleton” especially their Sunray version. It has a smooth yet very intense character and reminds me of good Bordeaux wines because you can taste that it matured in toasted oak casks. But if you really want to go for wine I’d recommend a Sauterne.
The Dutch boyfriend’s opinion:
So we had a dinner with four other friends, and of course Raph not only prepared the best lobsters and tasty lambs meat ever, awesome French wines were also brought to the kitchen table to let our taste buds have the time of their lives. After all that deliciousness, there was the dessert, followed by, of course, cheese. Raph’s dad always insists we drink strong liquor after we filled our tummies with food. And so the love of my life took his advice to heart and made a tart infused with whisky. Without further ado: I loved the tart. A strong flavour without making you feel full or sick (yes, drinking can make you feel sick). A great before-end of the already amazing meal!