Banana Tart

This banana tart recipe can be made up as a large one, but I like the appearance of the individual tarts, which are really no more than a circle of pastry. Use plain or sweet shortcrust, flaky or puff.

Vanilla, cinnamon-or cardamom-flavoured ice cream can be served with the warm tart, or chocolate if that combination appeals. If it does, you might even want to make your own chocolate short pastry. Substitute 25g (1oz) cocoa powder for 25g (1oz) of the measured flour.

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Ingredients

  • 250 g (½ lb) pastry
  • 1 tablespoon couscous or coarse semolina
  • 5 or 6 ripe but still firm bananas
  • juice of a small lemon
  • 4-5 tablespoons icing sugar

Method

Roll out the pastry and from it cut out four circles the size of small saucers. Use the remaining pastry to make decorations – knots, hearts, flowers and leaves, whatever you wish. Put the circles on a baking sheet, and sprinkle the couscous or semolina in the centres. This absorbs excess juice and prevents the pastry from going soggy. Slice the bananas and arrange on the pastry circles, leaving a 1cm ( inch) border. Sprinkle the fruit with the lemon juice and dust with a little of the sugar. Place in the top half of a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6, and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven, brush the pastry border with water, and shake on more sugar. Brush the pastry trimmings, and dust these with sugar too. Place them on the baking sheet, and return to the oven for a further 10 to 15 minutes. After 5 minutes, turn down the heat to 180°C/ 350°F/gas mark 4. Remove from the oven, dust the tarts lightly with icing sugar, decorate with the pastry trimmings and serve warm.

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