Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Sunday Special

Good afternoon everyone. Here's hoping you all are having a fantastic weekend and a relaxing Sunday afternoon. Today, we decided to do something a little different, something we've never actually done before - dessert!

We typically only make nice meals - things that fall into the 'good and good for you' category. Today, we decided to deviate slightly and make something that still counts as 'good' but not so much 'good for you'. While we still believe it's important to eat healthy - we also know that if you don't 'cheat' everyone once in a while you're likely to go crazy! The important thing to remember is everything in moderation. Sure you can have some ice cream now and again, just don't eat the entire container! Keep it all in balance and you'll be fine.

The Recipe: Banana Tarte Tatin
Original Recipe Found In: Jamie's Food Revolution: Rediscover How to Cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable Meals

What You'll Need:

1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter (4 Tablespoons)
3/4 Cup Sugar
4 Bananas
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Orange
1 Sheet Puff Pastry
All purpose Flour (For Dusting)
Optional: Ice Cream *

*We all know that it isn't really optional!

I found this recipe to be a lot easier after I pre-cut and measured all the ingredients. Peel and slice you bananas in half, zest your orange and work out the puff pastry sheet into a 7.5 X 12.5 inch shape before you begin cooking.

Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Slice your butter into smaller cubes and place them into a roasting pan that measures approximately 7.5 X 12.5 inches across. On low heat, completely melt the butter. Once melted, add in your sugar and mix well.

What the original recipe doesn't mention here is the result - rather than a liquid mixture (like I was expecting) you end up with a very grainy...lump - in the middle of the pan. It's a little bit disconcerting at first as you think "Did I use too much sugar? Is it supposed to look like this?" Relax, it is supposed to look like a giant sugary disaster at first.

Pictured: A giant sugary blob

Cook this giant sugar blob on medium-low heat for about five minutes until the mixture is completely melted and golden brown. Be sure to stir every so often to keep the mixture from sticking and burning to the pan. Once you mixture is a deep golden brown and nice and runny - you're ready for the next step. (By the way, if you haven't realized it yet - you just made caramel! Hooray!)

Remove the pan from the heat. Place your halved bananas on top of the golden caramel. Sprinkle you cinnamon over everything and then follow that with a dusting of orange zest.

I call it: bananas atop molten caramel 

Bananas atop molten caramel with cinnamon! 

If you haven't done so yet. Dust a work area with some all purpose flour and carefully roll out your puff pastry sheet until it's slightly larger than your pan. Once flattened, carefully transfer the sheet on top of your pan and press it down alongside the bananas. Tuck the pastry into the corners (carefully, there is molten caramel under there!) of the pan. Finally, prick about a half dozen holes in the top of the pastry sheet. Place the pan in the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, you should have a nice, golden and fluffy crust. If not, don't be shy about placing the pan back into the oven for another few minutes. Now, get ready for the somewhat tricky part. Once out of the oven you have about 30 seconds to 1 minute before the caramel begins to solidify and stick to the pan (you don't want this!). Using a large plate or serving dish (I used a cake pan!) place the dish or plate on top of the roasting pan and with your hands protected (if any caramel leaks around the edges - it will burn your hands...badly!) flip the pan over. If you moved fast enough  - the tarte should have released from the pan and flipped banana side up onto your serving dish. All that's left is to scoop some ice cream up and enjoy!

The Result:

Fresh out of the oven

Flipped without incident! 

In the end, I ended up with a delicious Sunday afternoon treat. The flavor is exactly what you'd expect. Nice gooey caramel and bananas combined with a hint of orange all accompanied by a nice, flaky pastry crunch.

All in all this was a straightforward and simple recipe to make. Outside of the tricky flip at the end - there was very little actual difficulty here. In about 40 minutes, you can make up a delicious treat to accompany any meal or to just enjoy on a lazy afternoon. Here's hoping you give it a shot yourself.

That's all we have for you today. It was a little different from what we usually do - but it looked like a fun and easy dish so we thought we should share it you! We're back tomorrow with the ingredient list for the coming week (we have some fantastic dishes planned - I can't wait!) Be sure to stop by tomorrow evening to see what we're cooking with. Until then,


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