Banana Custard Cream Tart

Black bananas don’t have to mean banana bread. Come on that’s the easy way out! There’s so much more to the humble banana, especially when it’s well past it’s best days. As bananas ripen, their starches that keep them firm and proud, convert into sugar. That’s why black bananas are better for baked goods as they offer a sweeter result and also allow for less sugar to be added. This tart has a tablespoon of sugar in it, yes, a tablespoon, but I promise, you really would never know, it is perfectly sweet with the cinnamon, banana puree and dash of caramel brown sugar. It has a toffee like flavour. I can’t think of a better way to use up old bananas. Banana bread can be made of choice, not necessity!

Ingredients: Serves 8

Pastry to line an 8 inch tart tin:

I made a large batch of cinnamon pastry using 5oog flour, 250g fat, 2tbsp brown sugar, 2tsp ground cinnamon and water to bind. Pastry keeps beautifully in a sealed bag in the freezer for three months. Use about 1/4 of the recipe for this tart. Or use about 300g ready made pastry.

2 very ripe bananas (blacker the better)

2tbsp vegan custard powder (not the instant kind)

1tbsp soft brown sugar

1/2 pint soya milk

pinch of salt

pinch of cinnamon

coconut whipped cream for topping

Method:

  1. Make the pastry by blitzing the flour, sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt together in a food processor just until combined or whisk together in a large bowl. Add in the cold, cubed fat and pulse until a breadcrumb like consistency but with pea-sized lumps remaining. Alternatively rub together with the fingertips. Add in cold water a tbsp at a time and pulse just until coming together, then turn out and bring together gently with the hands, place on plastic wrap and flatten into a disc, cover with the wrap and place in the fridge. Alternatively, use a flat bladed knife to mix in the liquid and finish off with the hands but be sure not to over work the pastry.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400f/200c.
  3. Make the custard up according to package instructions, the quantities given above should be for half of the milk usually called for in ratio to custard powder. Warm the milk, add a little to the custard powder and sugar, mix to a paste. Add the remainder of the milk, stir well then return to pan and cook, gently, stirring, until thickened. You should end up with a very thick custard.
  4. Cover the custard with plastic wrap, in the pan, so that the plastic actually touches the surface of custard to avoid a skin forming. Leave to cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile, roll out the pastry to fit the tart tin, placing any remainders in the freezer, well wrapped. prick the base and sides all over with a fork. Scrunch up some greaseproof paper, then unravel and place into the pastry case, fill with baking beans, uncooked rice, pulses or similar and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and weights from the pastry and return to the oven for 10 minutes or until the pastry is cooked through, dry and just beginning to colour slightly. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Remove from the tin and place on serving plate.
  6. When cool, pour the custard into a food processor with the bananas, a pinch of salt and cinnamon and whizz until smooth. Alternatively mix together with a hand mixer or a wooden spoon, mashing the bananas first.
  7. Pour into the cooled pastry case and place in the fridge for at least an hour, until firm and set.
  8. Dollop whipped coconut cream on top of the tart and spread. Sprinkle with cinnamon or cocoa powder and serve chilled.

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