RECIPE: To redeem myself after a rushed but acceptable effort at a butterscotch tart topped with lemon chiboust cream that was designed to use up some condensed milk but ended up tasting rather unexciting and didn’t look very pretty, I used my leftover pastry and cream to make banoffee tarts. I should have just made this in the first place as it was easier and quicker than the mediocre butterscotch. I followed a recipe for pâte sucrée, added salted caramel made from a recipe I’ve used before for my gingerbread trifle, popped in some banana and topped it with cream whipped with vanilla and sugar.
COMPONENTS: Unlike a shortcrust pastry where you rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers, for pâte sucrée you mix all the ingredients together with a spoon. The pastry is still sticky when you wrap it and cool it, and it requires more cooling than shortcrust as well (two hours). When you’re rolling it, if it starts getting too warm you can’t work with it, so if it starts getting difficult it needs to go back in the fridge. I had some remaining from my other pie, so cut four circles with my 8cm rings (rather than using pie tins), then cut strips to line the sides, and pressed them together lightly at the join around the bottom of the ring. These went back in the fridge and then I blind baked them for about 10 minutes, removed the paper and weights, then baked for another couple of minutes. No further baking is required. I was braver with the salted caramel sauce this time and managed to get a much nicer caramel colour on the sugar/water mix before adding the butter. Much better flavour! I stirred until it started to simmer, then stopped stirring until it browned, then added the butter and cream and cooked for another minute, then adding the salt. I let it cool somewhat before using it. I whipped the cream then when it started to thicken I added the vanilla and confectioner’s sugar.
ASSEMBLY: Once the cases had cooled and were firm, I cut a few slices of banana to line the bottom. I spooned in some salted caramel sauce that was still warm but not hot to cover the banana. The tarts were placed in the fridge until the caramel had begun to set and was cool. I topped this with more sliced banana and then piped on the whipped cream. I topped each tart with a toasted pecan nut.
IMPRESSION: So good! I was very happy with my tarts. They tasted yummy, they looked pretty, they were quick and it was easy to make a small number (I’m not unhappy about the leftover salted caramel sauce either). The pastry was crisp and firm (hard to break delicately and politely with a spoon) but was by no means hard or unpleasant. My husband found the tarts a bit sweet, but I thought they were just right with the salt and cream providing some balance.
Recipe for the pâte sucrée from Patisserie by Christophe Felder
Recipe for the salted caramel sauce from Gemma Stafford at Bigger Bolder Baking