I was recently asked for a “New Orleans type dessert” at the restaurant. I was excited to come up with these Banana Caramel Tarts with Rum Pastry Cream and Pralines. The first bite will take you to Mardi Gras.
The New Orleans Praline below is the only recipe not in the European Tarts book. The pastry cream is increased by 1/3 and dark rum is added. Just use the ingredients given here and the instructions for Pastry Cream in the book and on the blog.
This praline is to one of the best things I have ever eaten. And eat it I did! Once it cools, it has an opaque, almost grainy look. When the pecans have been added, the candy sets up almost immediately, so get it onto the prepared sheet pan and spread it out right away.
This tart can be executed in steps. The tart shells can be made a day or two in advance as can the pastry cream. The caramel and praline can be made a week ahead of time. However, these Banana Caramel Tarts with Rum Pastry Cream and Pralines should be assembled the morning of service.
11” plain press in crust
1 recipe caramel
1 1/2 recipe pastry cream (see below)
1 recipe New Orleans Pralines (see below)
2 bananas, very ripe, but still firm
6-4 3/4” individual tart pans with removable bottoms
Rum Pastry Cream
1 1/2 teaspoons gelatin
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 cups milk
6 egg yolks
3/4 sugar (150 grams or 5 1/3 ounces
1/3 cup flour (65 grams or 2 ounces)
3 tablespoons dark rum
Using the above ingredients prepare the pastry cream according to the directions. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight.
New Orleans Praline
3/4 cup granulated sugar (150 grams or 5 1/3 ounces)
3/4 cup brown sugar (150 grams or 5 1/3 ounces)
1/2 cup 40% or heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tarter
1 1/4 cups pecan pieces (140 grams or 5 ounces)
Spray a baking sheet or line with a silpat liner and set aside. Spray the back of an offset spatula or spoon and place next to the baking sheet.
Combine all the ingredients except the pecans in a medium size saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the butter melts and the sugars dissolve. Wash the sides of the pan down with a brush dipped in cold water.
Break up into small pieces when cooled.
Using the recipe in the book, prepare according to directions for Caramel and cool completely. If it is made ahead of time and refrigerated, microwave for about 10 seconds to make it spreadable.
Individual Pastry Shells
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the tartlet pans on a rimmed baking sheet. Prepare the dough according to the recipe in the book.
Divide into 9 equal sized balls (50 grams each or 1 3/4 ounces each). Using the smaller pieces, roll one piece into a single rope 15 inches long according to Plain Press In Pastry. Press into the side of the six tart shells, overlapping the two ends. You use a single rope for these as the diameter is small.
Divide the last three pieces in half. Press one half in the bottom of each shell making sure the edges are pressed well together. Prick with a fork. Bake 22 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely.
3/4 cup 40% or heavy cream
Rum Pastry cream
Whip the cream to medium stiff peak
If making ahead of time, cover loosely with film and refrigerate. Room temperature for about 1 hour if made ahead of time.
Store in the refrigerator.