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TODAY IN FOOD: It’s National Banana Creme Pie Day

White Chocolate Banana Tart
This white chocolate banana tart, scrumptious in and of itself, has been accessorized with a chocolate straw, a miniature cookie, fresh raspberries and a mint sprig. Recipe and photograph courtesy of El Rey Chocolate.
  It’s National Banana Creme Pie Day. As we were going through our recipes, we found this one for a White Chocolate Banana Tart, which is far more interesting (sorry the photo isn’t better). It’s made with El Rey’s Icoa white chocolate, which many people feel is the finest white chocolate made (Icoa was a native goddess). However, it’s hard to find, so buy any top-quality white chocolate bar. Be sure to read the ingredients label: If the words “vegetable oil” appear, steer clear!—it’s imitation chocolate, and won’t taste so good. Look for the words “cocoa butter.”
Tart Dough Ingredients
• 7 tablespoons lightly salted butter, at room temperature
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp. vanilla
• 1-3/4 cup all purpose flour, sifted
Tart Dough Directions

1. Cream the sugar and butter using the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy.
2. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl.
3. Add the flour. Mix until combined. Refrigerate at least one hour before rolling out.
4. Roll out the tart dough. Using tart pans that have been sprayed with baker’s spray, line each tart pan with dough. NOTE: After tart dough has been rolled out, it can be chilled for at least an hour and re-rolled. After the dough has been re-rolled once, discard it.
5. Poke shells with a fork and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.Pastry Cream Ingredients
• 1-1/3 cups whole milk
• 1/2 vanilla bean
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
• 1 envelope gelatin, softened in 1/4 cup water and melted
• 4 ounces El Rey Icoa or other top quality white chocolate, finely chopped
• 2 ripe bananas, puréed

Pastry Cream Directions
1. Whisk together eggs, sugar and corn starch.
2. Bring the milk to a boil, with the vanilla bean scraped into it. At the boiling point, add some of the hot milk to the egg/sugar mixture and whisk together.
3. When the milk boils, stir in the egg mixture and lower the heat to medium. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until custard thickens and begins to pull from the side of the pot.
4. In a stainless steel bowl, pour the custard on top of the white chocolate. Whisk together until the chocolate is melted. Stir in the butter. Add the melted gelatin and whisk together.
5. Add the puréed banana. Cool in an ice water bath. Refrigerate until needed.

Assembling The Banana Tarts
Ingredients

• 1 recipe banana-white chocolate pastry cream (above), chilled
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 4 bananas
• Optional garnishes: raspberries, mint leaves, chocolate straws, miniature cookies

Assembly Directions
1. Whip the heavy cream and sugar until stiff.
2. Whisk the chilled banana pastry cream.
3. Fold 2/3 of the whipped cream into the banana pastry cream. Reserve the remaining whipped cream for garnish.
4. Fill each tart shell with banana pastry cream.
5. Using a propane torch or the broiler in your oven, brown the sliced bananas.
6. Arrange the bananas around the inside edge of the tarts.
7. Using a pastry bag, pipe a rosette of whipped cream in the center of each tart. If you do not have a pastry bag, scoop a dollop of whipped cream into the center of each tart.
8. Garnish with raspberries, mint leaves, chocolate and cookies and serve.




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