Saturday, June 6, 2015

Caramelized Banana Nutella Puff Pastry

Caramelized Banana Nutella Puff Pastry - made May 23, 2015
If you ever want to serve a quick and easy dessert that looks like you spent some time on it, grab some puff pastry. The kind in the grocery store freezer section that’s premade so all you have to do is thaw and unroll them. They bake up flaky and delicious so you could almost pretend you slaved away in the kitchen to get the right texture and flakiness. Having made flaky pastry dough from scratch in my culinary past, the pre-made stuff doesn’t taste as good but given how much easier it is, I’m not turning up my nose at the convenience.
Otherwise, to get the same type of flaky pastry from scratch, you have to make the dough and roll it into a large rectangle, beat and shape a ton of butter into a smaller rectangular slab, lay it over the dough, fold the dough over it and seal the butter inside, then, using a sheeter, roll out the butter-encased dough, fold it again, roll it again, fold it again, roll it again and so on until you have multiple thin layers of butter and dough folded and rolled multiple times. If you don’t have a sheeter, you can roll it out by hand but that’s even more time and effort. Trust me, unless you’ve got reams of time and finicky guests (I have neither) it’s easier to buy the sheets of puff pastry as the building block for your dessert.
I normally don’t bake with puff pastry, even the premade stuff because it’s so calorie intensive (hello, lots of butter). The flakier it is, the more butter it has. Not that there’s anything wrong with that because it isn’t like I actually bake anything low calorie anyway. But I don’t love it enough to take on that calorie heft very often. But once in awhile is okay and I happened to be in the mood for something decadent, preferably with bananas and Nutella, a first-rate combination in my book.
I also had some pastry cream in the freezer that I had made and put away for a future dessert. I thawed the pastry cream and the puff pastry, cut the pastry into squares, placed the squares into shallow tart pans to give the middle a bit of an indent, lined the bottom with the pastry cream, placed sliced bananas over the pastry cream then sprinkled butter and brown sugar streusel on top. Bake until the pastry is puffed and brown then drizzle with warm Nutella. Quick, easy, delicious.
If you want to make this even easier, you can skip the pastry cream and just increase the bananas and streusel topping but I happen to love pastry cream (too much so) and thought the creamy texture went well with the flaky pastry, the caramelized bananas and the warm Nutella. And I'm not one for custard-y desserts unless it's made with the CIA recipe for pastry cream.
1 sheet frozen puffy pastry dough, thawed
1-2 large, ripe (but not overripe) bananas, sliced into thick rounds
1 1/2 cups pastry cream, more if desired
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, chilled and cubed
1 tablespoon flour
½ cup Nutella, more if desired
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line spray individual tart pans with nonstick cooking spray. Cut puff pastry sheet into 3 columns then cut each column into 3 squares. Place in prepared tart pans and press middles into bottom of pans to create a concave shell.
  3. Spoon pastry cream into bottom of shells, dividing evenly. Place a layer of sliced bananas over pastry cream.
  4. Combine brown sugar, chilled butter cubes and flour in small bowl and mix together until you have a crumbly streusel. Sprinkle over tops of bananas.
  5. Bake until puff pastry is golden brown and streusel topping has melted and browned, 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle warm Nutella over top of tarts. Serve immediately.

No comments:

Post a Comment