I have to say these are probably one of my favourite little tartlet recipes yet. For those of you who love banana and caramel, these are just the thing for you. They are made with simple ingredients and pack a punch with flavour. And to make things even better, they are easily transportable. Great for picnics, hostess gifts or just a nice little tasty treat for those days when you deserve it. —Chrissie
unsalted butter, cut into pieces
vegetable oil (I like sunflower or canola)
In a small saucepan, combine the butter, oil, water, sugar, and salt.
Place the saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat, once the butter is bubbling and starts to brown just around the edges, remove from heat.
Quickly add in the flour and stir it quickly, until it comes together and forms a ball which pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Set the dough aside to cool for 5 mins.
Once the dough has cooled, take out your tartlet tins or muffin tins. Then take some of the dough and press into each tin, shaping it into a tartlet shell. Once done and all the dough is used up, then take a fork and prick the dough all around, about 8 times or so. Bake them in the oven for about 10-15 mins or until a nice golden colour. Then set them aside.
For the filling: If you have access to a grill, then the best way to cook the bananas is on that. Heat up the grill and lay the bananas, whole, over the heat. A wood or charcoal grill is preferable as it imparts a nice flavour. You want a medium- medium high heat. You are looking to get a nice charred look on the banana. Then turn over to finish the other side. You will know when they are done when the skin is black. Approximately 45 minutes in total.
If you do not have access to a grill, then you can simply roast them in the oven. Place in a small roasting pan with some butter and roast at about 475F until the skins are black.
Once bananas are done remove from heat. Slice the banana down the middle and remove the nice caramelized and gooey flesh. Set aside. (Note: this step can be done a day or two before and kept in the fridge.)
Now bring the 1/3 cup of cream to a beginning boil in a small sauce pan over low-medium heat.
At the same time, heat the granulated sugar, water, honey and vanilla extract in a heavy saucepan over high heat. No stirring. Let it come to a boil. You can brush the inside of the pan with a damp pastry brush to clean any sugar stuck to the side and to avoid any crystallization. Cook the mixture until it turns an amber colour, approximately 6-8 minutes.
Lower the heat under the caramel to medium just at the point it turns that amber colour. Then slowly add the hot cream to the caramel, stirring constantly with a heat resistant whisk or spoon. Be careful as it will bubble and foam. Continue to stir until it is smooth with no lumps. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the butter until it is fully melted.
Transfer the caramel sauce to a bowl and let it cool to room temperature.
Fill the tart crusts 1/4 of the way with caramel. Then top with caramelized banana. Top off with a sprinkle of brown sugar. Repeat until all the tartlets are done.
Place back in the oven at 350F for 5 minutes just to slightly caramelize the sugar on top.
Remove from oven and let cool. These will keep in the fridge for a few days.