I admitted that I was skeptical when I saw Helen's, the tartlette, post of this banana tartlettes. First, I am not fond of bananas. My brother grossed me out with it when I was little, and I have not yet recovered from it. Second, banana and frangipane just don't seem right together. But, I do trust Helen's baking instinct. And, kids and husband like banana stuff. And, I really like frangipane cream. And, most of all, I love going against the current, even when it is my own will.
I basically followed her recipe. (Click on "banana tartlettes" for the link.) I will only record my changes here:
- I don't have 3" cake rings, so I used 8" cake ring. Half of her sable recipe is enough for the 8" tart, and I used it all. I baked the crust with the ring at 350F for 20 minutes, or watch for the golden color. I did prick the shell before baking. No pie weight is needed if the dough is chilled properly before baking.
- I used 65 g of almond and 65 g of hazel nuts. (I have a coffee grinder specifically designated to nut grinding. Works great when making frangipane or macarons.) The res ingredients were the same as hers. This 8" tart was baked longer than the 3" tartlettes, at 40 minutes or until golden brown.
- I always have my own caramel sauce in hand, so I didn't use Helen's. Mine is basically the same as Rose Levy Beranbaum's. I will post it later.
Husband and I had the tart for dessert on Saturday. I only put sliced banana on his piece. He took the first bite while I waited anxiously for his comments. He nodded and quietly consumed another bite. That's it! I can't wait any longer, so I took one tiny bite myself, with banana. My eyes grew big and my jaw dropped. I couldn't believe how well the banana, nutty tart, caramel sauce, and the ice cream went together yet you could taste the individual character subtly. It brought a clean but not heavy sensation to the palette. I was much surprised that I didn't mind the banana at all! I have been making desserts for many years and have grew picky on tasting desserts, and I am very pleased by this one. Husband said, "this one has climbed quickly to the top of my favorite." I am thrilled because he is the toughest critic I have to go pass.
Thanks again for Helen's creation! I am glad that I again challenged my own weak spot. The result is beyond victory. Ha!