For my maiden attempt at making tartlets using the “Goldtouch” tart pan, I decided to try the Tartine Banana Cream Pie. The flaky tart shell came out perfect. I followed the Tartine instructions to the T. The recipe below captures some adjustments for making tartlets instead of a 10″ tart. This must have been the longest post I have written, but baking is a therapeutic. It is well worth the effort!
(A) Chocolate Shards and Curls
- 4 oz Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate
- Melt chocolate in a double-boiler.
- Spread the melted chocolate into a thin layer on the back of a rectangular baking tin.
- Chill the chocolate in the refrigerator for 10-minutes.
- Use the back of a rectangular metal spatula, scrape the chocolate off the baking tin, pushing the chocolate away from you.
- Carefully transfer the chocolate curls or shards into a airtight container. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
(B) Pastry Cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- Prepare a sieve over a medium glass bowl to cool the custard. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and sugar. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- Pour milk into a heavy saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lenthwise and scrape the seeds into the milk.
- Add salt and bring the milk to just under a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
- Ladle one-third of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly as you add the milk.
- Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the hot milk and continue whisking over medium heat until the custard is as thick as lightly whipped cream, about 2 minutes. You should see a few slow bubbles. Do not allow the egg mixture to boil vigorously.
- Remove from heat and pour the custard immediately through the sieve into the glass bowl. Let cool for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to release the heat and prevent a skin from forming.
- Cut the butter into tablespoon chunks. When the pastry cream is ready, whisk the butter into the pastry cream 1 tablespoon at a time. Always whisking until butter is completely dissolved before adding the next tablespoon.
- To cool the cream, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the top of the cream. Do not whisk the cream once it is cold.
- Cool completely and store in the refrigerator. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 vanilla bean
- 5/8 cup sugar
- 1/8 cup water
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- Pour heavy cream into a small heavy sauce pan.
- Split vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds from the pod halves into the cream.
- Bring to just under a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to keep cream warm.
- Combine water, sugar, salt, and maple syrup in a medium, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook without stirring for 8 minutes until the mixture is amber colored. Remove from the heat.
- Add the cream to the sugar syrup slowly. The mixture will boil at first, let the mixture simmer down, then whisk until smooth.
- Add the lemon juice. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Cut the butter into tablespoon chunks. Add them to the caramel one at a time, whisking constantly after each addition.
- Whisk the caramel periodically as it continues to cool.
- We will use only a small portion of the caramel in this recipe. Store the remaining portion in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
(D) Flaky Tart Dough
- 1 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup water
- 3 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup + 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, very cold
- Add salt to the water, stir to dissolve. Keep solution very cold in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Cut butter into 1/2 inch chunks, keep in the refrigerator.
- Add flour to the work bowl of a food processor.
- Scatter the butter chunks over the flour.
- Pulse briefly until the mixture forms large crumbs, and some of the butter is still in pieces the size of peas.
- Add the salt water and pulse for several seconds until the dough begins to come together in a ball but is not completely smooth.
- On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 10 equal portions for tartlets. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions for 10-inch pie.
- Roll each portion into a disc about half-inch thick. Separate the discs with parchment or wax paper. Place the stack of dough discs in a plastic storage bag. Seal tight. Refrigerate the dough overnight. Freeze unused portions of the dough for future baking sessions.
- When ready to bake the tart shell, preheat the oven to 375 degree F.
- Take each disc out of the refrigerator, one at a time. Roll each disc into a 6″ circle. Lay the disc over the tart mold. Press the dough into the mold and crimp the edges. Keep the tart pan in the refrigerator while working on the next disc. Repeat for the number of tarts desired. Prepare the same number of parchment paper discs to line the bottom of each tart.
- Prick the bottom of each tart with a fork to release the heat during baking.
- Cover each tart with a piece of the parchment paper circles.
- Bake in 375 degree F oven until the bottom of the tart turned light brown, approximately 25 minutes. Check during baking. If the bottom of the tart begins to rise, prick with a sharp knife to release the heat.
- Remove the parchment paper circles. Bake another 5 minutes in the oven until the tart shell turns golden brown.
(E) Banana Cream Pie
- 6 Fully baked and cooled 4.5″ Flaky tart shell or a 10″ Tart shell
- 2 oz bittersweet chocolate
- 1 cup heavy cream, very cold
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/4 cup caramel
- 2 cups pastry cream
- 3 small bananas, sliced into 1/4″ thick
- chocolate curls/shards for garnish
- powdered sugar for garnish
- Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler and brush the bottom of the cooled tart shell. Chill the chocolate-lined tarts in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to set the chocolate.
- Spread a layer of caramel on the chilled chocolate base.
- Divide and spoon the pastry cream into each tart shell.
- Arrange a layer of banana slices over the pastry cream. Press the banana into the pastry cream gently.
- Divide and spoon the heavy cream over the banana slices.
- Garnish with chocolate curls.
- Dust with powdered sugar.
- Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.