Oh Alyna, I'm failing to find the words to articulate satisfactorily my delight at the Magic Mike references sprinkled throughout your Magic White Pepper Ice Cream post ("bold (XXL!) heat and flavor"), and I cannot wait for the next time you visit San Francisco! It was such incredible fun to show you around for not one but two days (heh heh).
I've been in something of a posting rut and couldn't think of anything I really wanted to make for our blog, but your herbaceous and spicy (and vegan!) ice cream has inspired me! I've followed your lead and created a little dessert that is similarly perfumed by an unexpected spice blend: sweet curry. After eating and sharing the sole box of Tokyo Bananas that I hauled home from Japan, I was looking for a way to bake with bananas that would yield a treat that would be almost as quick and easy as tearing the plastic wrapper off this dreamy Japanese snack. I'm hoping that one of the Tokyo Bananas that I gave my sister is still around so that I may secretly devour it the next time I'm at her place.
Meet the tarte tatin, which is French/fancy talk for "upside-down tarte." Tarte tatins are extremely easy to make and require only a few ingredients. I adapted this Sweet Curry Banana Tarte Tatin from a Bon Appétit recipe, which touts an even more pared down ingredients list. But I think the addition of cinnamon and sweet curry to banana tarte tatin is certainly well worth your while -- neither is overpowering or even immediately recognizable, but together they lend this dessert a subtle fullness. I garnished the tarte with some cacao nibs for chocolately bitterness, as well as chopped pistachios for a little savory crunch. Also delicious with a scoop of coffee ice cream.
Since I won't be returning to Tokyo any time soon, my next banana baking project may need to be these homemade Tokyo Bananas, or one GIANT Tokyo Banana sponge cake. Dare to dream.
Sweet Curry Banana Tarte Tatin for Two
Makes one 5-inch tarte tatin. Serves two.
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 large pinch of ground cinnamon
1 large pinch of sweet curry powder
1 firm ripe banana, peeled and cut on a diagonal into 1/4-inch thick slices
1 6-inch round of puff pastry, thawed according to package instructions (I used Dufour puff pastry and really liked it.)
1/2 tablespoon cacao nibs
1/2 tablespoons roasted pistachios, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Grease a 5-inch diameter, 1-inch high crème brûlé dish or tarte pan with the butter (I used the latter).
In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and sweet curry powder so that spices are evenly distributed throughout the brown sugar. Then sprinkle this brown sugar mixture evenly over the the bottom of the buttered dish/pan.
Overlap banana slices over the brown sugar mixture, arranging the slices to create concentric circles to cover the sugar.
Top the dish/pan with the round of puff pastry, and gently press the edge of the puff pastry against the side of the dish/pan.
Bake until puff pastry is golden and puffed, about 20-25 minutes. Allow tarte tatin to cool for about 15 minutes so that is cool enough to handle comfortably, and then invert the tarte tatin onto a plate. Sprinkle with cacao nibs and pistachios. Enjoy warm as is, or add a scoop of coffee ice cream.