This Caramelized banana and Caramel Tart is THE perfect easy yet fancy dessert you can make at home and impress everyone ! The tart has 3 elements:
1. Home made Pâte Sablée (sweet shortcrust) tart shell
2. 5 minutes caramelized banana layer
3. Super quick and easy 3 ingredients caramel layer on top
Good news is that it’s easier to make than you might think following my step-by-step Baking Guide.
First let’s start with some important tips regarding the ingredients of this Caramel & Caramelized banana Tart recipe
- read the recipe carefully
- avoid using substitutes unless aware of how to fully reformulate the recipe in order to keep the balance in texture as well as flavours
- measure your ingredients with the help of a digital kitchen scale
For the Pâte Sablée (sweet shortcrust)
- Flour: I am using pastry flour for this tart shell recipe, feel free to use AP if can’t find pastry flour in your local supermarket. If you want to be a Pro when it comes to deciding what type of flour to use in your baking, please read my article in here
- Almond: Some Pâte Sablée recipes contain almond, some don’t, I prefer mine with some almond flour in it from taste and texture point of view. It is worth to buy good quality ground almond, without skin
- Sugar: This sweet pastry dough is made with icing sugar. If you want to learn about the different types of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my article in here
- Salt: An essential ingredient in most of the dessert recipes. Balances flavour and enhances other ingredients. This is a sweet tart dough and I just love that extra very mild salty kick at the end
- Butter: Use always unsalted as you want to be in control of the quantity of the salt. I am using 82% fat content butter in all my recipes. While in most of the recipes butter needs to be on room temperature, this is an exception and you have to take it very seriously. Butter needs to be chilled, which means take the butter out of the fridge, cut into cubes then place it into the freezer for 10-15 minutes before using it.
- Egg: Room temperature as always
For the caramelized banana layer
- Banana: Slice banana, simple. According to the recipe you will caramelise the banana slices with the sugar in a few minutes. Heat must be high enough so that the mixture is not just cooking but properly caramelising
- Sugar: Sugar is needed for caramelising the banana slices and for that reason I suggest to use simple granulated sugar
- Lemon juice: Use freshly squeezed lemon juice. Lemon will balance flavours in the recipe particularly the sweetness of caramelised banana
For the caramel
- Granulated sugar: Use white granulated sugar, nothing fancy. If you want to learn about the different types of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my article in here
- Butter: Use always unsalted. It is very important that butter needs to be at room temperature. If butter is too cold, it won’t incorporate properly into the caramelised sugar
- Heavy cream: Also known as whipping cream, has a fat content between 36% and 40% . Use it room temperature or even better if it is luke warm and make sure to avoid substitutes like vegetable based “whipping cream”
Now let’s continue with 9 tips regarding the technique of making this Caramel & Caramelized banana Tart recipe
I have a very detailed step by step tutorial including all my tricks and tips for making the perfect tart crust in here.
I have also already shared a super baking guide about how to make the perfect quick and easy home made caramel in here.
Make sure you visit the articles above. If you read and follow my instructions and tips I can guarantee that you will succeed!
1. How to make Pâte Sablée (sweet shortcrust)
There are 2 methods in the pastry chefs’ world making tart shell; one is creaming, the other is crumbling. My preference (and it is easier for you) is the crumbling method. Basically you will need to rub the mixture between your hands until it becomes a sand like consistency.
2. The biggest secret to make Pâte Sablée (sweet shortcrust)
When I started experimenting with baking, I had several disastrous attempts making tart shell. Now I understand that the one and only reason I failed was me being inpatient and forcing the dough even when its temperature was inappropriate.
Baking is science and in general temperature is one of the most important factors to understand AND utilise for our benefit. If the dough is too hot, it’s sticky and can’t be rolled out or shaped. If too cold, it will easily break. The entire tart making process is a balancing exercise between keeping the dough cold enough but not too cold.
To give you a concrete example, in a home kitchen environment on a warmer day this practically means taking the dough in and out of the freezer about 15 times in between steps. This will ensure that the dough is always on the right temperature to work with. Yes, not just to chill once or twice but to be in control of the dough temperature all the time!
3. How to avoid blind baking
Do you also find blind baking annoying? Frankly, it’s a half solution only and while it certainly prevents the crust from puffing up while it bakes, it does not provide even baking. Blind making makes the tart crust somewhat unappealing, full of wrinkles as I call it and baked uneven. My recipe DOES NOT involve blind baking and that brings us to the next important topic. Baking equipment to consider in order to make neat looking, even baked tart crust.
4. Why use Perforated baking “air” mat
I have been using Perforated “air” baking mat for more than a year now from a brand called Silikomart and loving it. Thanks to the holes in the mat, the heat spreads evenly throughout mats’ surface guaranteeing a perfect and even baking without blind baking. Use the Perforated “air” baking mat on top of the oven rack so that the air can circulate properly.
5. How to get neat, even golden colour tart crust
Again, I have been using my Perforated tart ring for over a year and it’s the best investment I have ever made. I can not recommend it enough! It is really one of those tools you have to invest in once and then will change your baking experience forever. Yes, I am loving it! The Perforated tart rings are non-stick and stainless, they allow homogeneous baking due to the even air circulation. It’s a a genius solution, isn’t it? Silikomart (and some other quality brands) offering the rings in various shapes and sizes, I am using a 8cm (3,14inch) diameter round version. As far as I can see there are several cheap copies of the initial Silikomart product, I am not sure though whether they are made of the same material and whether they work or not.
6. How to roll sticky dough
Lastly, in regards to the tart shells, I recommend using 2 Silicone baking mat for rolling the dough out in between them. It’s also possible to use parchment paper however the silicone mat provides a much neater, smooth surface. It can be washed and then used all the time so overall worth the investment. I am using the “Amazon basics” cheapest version so no need to buy anything expensive.
7. How to caramelize banana
It is honestly a 5 minutes process, all you need to do is slicing banana, get a saucepan, caramelize sugar first then mix in the banana slices and lemon juice. I recommend medium-high heat so that the banana is not only cooking but caramelizing. Obviously try not to burn it.
8. How to make caramel at home
You definitely don´t want to skip this step, please please do not buy caramel from the supermarket, they are coloured brown liquids most of the time which has nothing to do with caramel. Making caramel at home is soooo easy, it takes 10 minutes and 3 ingredients! Follow my Step-by-step Baking Guide in here and you will have delicious, home made caramel in literally no time!
9. How to assemble the tart
Assembling the tart could not be easier! Make sure tart shell and caramelized banana both cooled down to room temperature while the caramel should be in a rather runny texture.
Take your tart shell, fill half of it with the banana and smooth the top with an Offset spatula then pour the caramel on top. Remember that caramel becomes hard in the fridge, softer on room temperature and runny when heated up. Unless you are making the caramel fresh I recommend to slightly heat it up so that you can easily pour it on top of the tart.
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Now let´s see the recipe of this Caramel & Caramelized banana Tart
- 480 g Banana
- 160 g Granulated sugar
- 60 g Lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 107 g Granulated sugar
- 42 g Unsalted butter room temperature
- 62 g Heavy Cream lukewarm
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
Pâte Sablée (sweet shortcrust)
- Start with making the tart shell by sifting together dry ingredients; flour, icing sugar, almond, salt
- Add very cold butter cubes and rub the mixture between your hands until it becomes a sand like consistency
- Add egg into the mixture and mix with your hands just until the dough comes together
- Knead with the palm of your hand for a minute or two (do not over knead and do not use mixer) just until the dough becomes smooth
- If the dough is too warm and sticky, place it into the fridge for 10-15 minutes first. Otherwise continue with rolling the dough out into 2mm thickness between two Silicone baking mat.
- Place the dough into the freezer for 15 min in between the two Silicone baking mat.. Do not remove the mat at this point
- If at any point the dough gets too warm to work with, pop it back into the freezer for 5 minutes. You might need take the dough in and out of the freezer 10-15 times. It is extremely important to work with a dough which is cold enough to be able to handle (so not sticky) but not too cold which would result in breaking it
- Cut 8 long stripes out of the dough, this will be the side of the tart
- Carefully place the stripes into the ring one by one. Press each stripe onto the ring so it sticks to it
- Place the Perforated tart ring with the pastry dough in them into the freezer for 2 hours
- Pre-heat oven to 160C / 320F
- After 2 hours take the pastry dough with the rings on them out and trim them with a sharp knife
- Bake for 18 min then carefully remove the rings and bake for another 5 min until golden brown. Let them cool on the Perforated "air" baking mat
- First cut banana into small pieces
- In a saucepan make dry caramel by melting sugar on medium heat. Do not stir until it starts to turn golden brown. Watch the pan carefully as once it starts caramelising, a few seconds later it can easily burn
- As soon as sugar turns into light golden in colour, mix in banana pieces as well as lemon juice and whisk with a Rubber spatula. It will bubble and that's normal. Keep whisking and caramelising the mixture for a minute or two on high hear until caramelised. Let it cool down to room temperature
- Melt and caramelize sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat, do not stir until it starts to turn golden brown. Watch the pan carefully so you do not burn it
- When sugar fully dissolved and turns golden brown in color, add in butter in 3 steps while whisking vigorously. It will bubble and it´s normal, be careful. If butter starts to separate just keep whisking
- Once butter fully incorporated slowly pour lukewarm heavy cream into the mixture and boil for a minute. It will bubble and rise slightly but keep whisking. After about a minute your caramel is done. You can use the caramel sauce in about 10-15 minutes while it is still runny but not hot
- Assemble the tart once tart shell and caramelized banana are on room temperature and caramel is till runny but not hot
- Take your tart shell, fill half of it with the banana and smooth the top with an Offset spatula and then pour caramel on top. The tart will set in about 30 minutes in the fridge