A tarte tatin is an upside down tart, often made with sliced fruit. You’ll mostly commonly find the apple tarte tatin when visiting a Paris bakery, but don’t let that fool you into thinking a banana tarte tatin is any less better. Apples and caramel go hand-in-hand, but bananas do too!
Banana Tarte Tatin
Have you ever had bananas foster? This banana tarte tatin tastes just like that.
In general, tarte tatin is a magical French dessert. Anytime pastry and caramel come together, you’ve got an irresistible pair on your hands that’s hard to say no to. I updated this classic recipe on the blog this week to reflect the addition of chopped nuts, which I think make this dessert even better!
As for the bananas in the dessert, they’re still just as dreamy as ever. The bananas become extra sweet and creamy, making them an absolute delight in this dessert. I’m not sure what it is about banana desserts, but they’re just such a summertime treat for me.
I’m not sure if this is the norm everywhere, or just the way it happened to be in my home. Other than warm banana bread, banana desserts really took the spotlight during the summer in my childhood.
For a banana tarte tatin, you can cut up your bananas in two different ways. You can either cut the bananas in half lengthwise, or you can slice them into 1/2 inch thick slices like I’ve done here.
The banana slices are then layered on top of some caramel sauce and chopped nuts, before the bananas themselves are covered with a sheet of pastry dough. As the tart bakes, the caramel sauce engulfs the bananas and nuts, and binds everything together.
This banana tarte tatin is also a wonderful dessert to make when you’re short on time. You can use a sheet of store-bought pastry, or you can make the pastry dough yourself and let it chill in the freezer while you slice up the bananas and prepare the caramel sauce.
The ingredients for this banana tarte tatin are basic, including: granulated sugar, butter, nuts, and bananas (and of course the pastry dough). If you’re nervous about making caramel sauce, don’t be. There are just a couple of important tips when it comes to making caramel to make sure things go smoothly; I’ve included those tips in the recipe card below.
Once the pastry round is placed on top of the bananas, the tart goes straight into a hot oven. Baked until golden, the tart is then flipped upside down, out of the pan and onto an awaiting serving plate.
While this banana tarte tatin comes together fairly quickly, you’ll definitely be taking your time basking in each and every single bite once it’s finished.
Banana Tarte Tatin
Caramelized bananas flipped over a bed of pastry.
for the pastry dough
- 1.25 cup all-purpose flour (156 grams)
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (114 grams) cold and cut into cubes
for the banana topping
- 3 large bananas sliced into 1/2" wide pieces
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (42 grams)
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar (133 grams)
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter (42 grams) plus more for greasing cake pan
For the pastry dough, combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the cubed butter and mix on medium speed until pea-size clumps are created. Alternatively, you can do this with your hands or a pastry blender.
Stream in some cold water, one teaspoon at a time, until the dough starts to come together and pull away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap the dough, then press down to flatten into a disc shape. Chill the dough in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan with some butter. In a medium pan over medium-low heat, add the granulated sugar, giving it at least 5 minutes to completely dissolve. Don't stir the sugar at all during this time. Once some of the sugar has dissolved and it's obtaining a deep golden color, you can then begin to swirl the pan in a circular motion to help dissolve the rest of the sugar and prevent the sugar from burning.
Once the sugar has melted, add in the unsalted butter and swirl the pan from side to side. The caramel will bubble; this is OK. Remove the pan from the heat and use a spatula to help you pour the caramel sauce into your prepared cake pan. Pour the chopped nuts on top of the caramel sauce.
Add the banana slices to the pan in a radial pattern. Overlap the banana slices with more banana slices in the the areas that look like they have open gaps.
Roll the pastry dough out into a 9" circle. Carefully place the pastry dough over the banana slices in the pan. Tuck the edges of the dough into the sides of the pan. Transfer the tart to the oven to bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.
Immediately after removing from the oven, run a knife along the edges of the pan. Flip the pan upside down onto your serving plate. Scoop any extra sauce and nuts that have stuck to the pan onto the tart.
This would be excellent with some vanilla ice cream of créme Chantilly.