A Tart with Perfect Symmetry
I love symmetry in desserts. Not all the time, but when the top and bottom layers bring the dessert together, my taste buds soar.
This is the case with Dulce Banana Tart. The crust is made with toasted pecans. Once baked and cooled, the crust is topped with a thin layer of chocolate, sliced bananas, dulce de leche, another layer of chocolate and then toasted pecans are sprinkled on top. See what I mean about symmetry?
I ran into one obstacle with this dessert. The bananas are high in acidity, which breaks down the consistency of the dulce de leche. The first time I made this tart I had bananas under and over the dulce de leche. Big mistake. The filling became liquidy.
The next time I made the Dulce Banana Tart with only one layer of bananas and served it to friends. I told my friend Barb, who is a fabulous baker, that I was thinking about making the recipe for individual portions because of the oozing that was still happening, even though it was substantially less than the first time around.
Barb’s reaction was very clear, “Do not change a single thing! The oozing is part of the deliciousness of the tart.” Hmmmmm, perhaps Barb had a good point there.
I made the Dulce Banana Tart a couple more times and decided that she was, in fact, correct. The tart is delicious as is. Yes, the filling will spill out a tad, but that is part of its character.
I make the dulce de leche on the stove, cooking a can of evaporated milk for 3½ – 4 hours. The word, dulce, means sweet and it is just that. However, the crust, chocolate and pecans balance out the sweetness to give you a dessert that will please everyone.
My taste buds were very happy with this well balanced dessert. I bet yours will be, too!
|Dulce Banana Tart|| |
- 1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup plus ½ cup pecans, toasted
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- 1 tablespoon ice water
- 6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted
- 2 bananas
- For the dulce de leche:
- Remove the paper from the sweetened condensed milk can. Poke two holes into the top of the can. Place the can in a pot. Fill nearly to the top with water. Remove the can and bring the water to a boil. Carefully place the can into the water and turn the water down. Simmer for 3½ - 4 hours. Check the water level periodically and add more simmering water to the pot so that the level remains fairly constant.
- After 3½-4 hours turn the stove off and cool completely.
- Once cool, remove the lid. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and stir until smooth. Set aside.
- For the crust:
- Place the flour and ⅓ cup pecans in the bowl of a food processor fitted with metal blade. Pulse on/off until it has the consistency of a powder. Cut the butter into 6 pieces and add to the food processor. Pulse on/off until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 20 seconds. Add the ice water and pulse on/off until the dough forms a ball. Remove the dough and shape into a disc. Wrap the dough in wax paper and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Set aside a 9” tart pan with removable bottom.
- Roll the dough out between sheets of wax paper. After each roll, rotate the dough and lift the top piece of wax paper so that it no longer sticks to the dough. Continue rolling out to a diameter of 11”.
- Spray the tart pan with non-stick spray. Line the bottom of the tart pan with parchment paper. Transfer the dough to the pan and fold the extra dough under the sides to reinforce them. Prick the bottom with a fork and freeze the tart crust for 10 minutes.
- Place of piece of aluminum foil in the tart pan and add pie weights. Place the tart pan onto a second sheet of aluminum foil or a baking sheet and bake at 400° for 15 minutes, rotating the pan around if hot spots occur. Remove the weights (by lifting the foil carefully out) and bake an additional 4-6 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
- For the filling:
- Brush or spoon a thin layer of the melted chocolate over the crust. Transfer the remaining melted chocolate to a quart size plastic freezer bag and set aside.
- Place the tart in the freezer just until the chocolate sets.
- Slice the bananas into thin, but not paper thin, slices and arrange decoratively over the chocolate. Pour the dulce de leche over the bananas and use the back of the spoon to gently spread it evenly on top.
- Cut a small corner off the chocolate bag and swirl the chocolate over the dulce de leche. Top with ½ cup toasted pecans that have been broken into pieces.
- Remove the side of the tart pan by lifting the bottom up. Slide the tart onto a serving plate and enjoy.
- Betsy's tidbits:
- Due to the acidity of the bananas, there is a bit of yummy ooziness to this tart, whether served at room temperature or straight from the fridge. Either way, it is pure deliciousness!