Banana-Cream Tarts

Pretty meringue-topped Banana-Cream Tarts are a delicious treat at tea time.

Banana-Cream Tarts
Yield: 9 tarts • Preparation: 30 minutes • Bake: 12 to 15 minutes • Cook: 5 minutes • Cool: 10 minutes
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Ingredients
  1. 2¼ cups finely processed vanilla-wafer crumbs
  2. ½ cup plus 6 tablespoons sugar, divided
  3. 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  4. 5 egg whites, divided
  5. 2 cups whole milk
  6. 3 large egg yolks
  7. 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  8. 18 teaspoon salt
  9. 1 tablespoon butter
  10. 1 teaspoon banana extract
  11. ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  12. 2 bananas, diced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Place 9 (3¾-inch) tart pans with removable bottoms on a baking sheet.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine vanilla-wafer crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar, and melted butter, stirring well. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk 1 egg white until frothy. Add to crumb mixture, stirring until mixture is uniformly moist.
  5. Divide crumb mixture evenly among tart pans, pressing and packing firmly and uniformly.
  6. Bake until golden brown and firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely. (If tart shells will not release easily from pans, refrigerate until hardened, and gently remove from pans.)
  7. In a small saucepan, scald milk over medium heat. (Do not boil. Heat only until bubbles form around edges of pan.)
  8. In a medium bowl, combine egg yolks and ½ cup sugar, whisking until pale yellow and thick. Add cornstarch, whisking to combine.
  9. To temper eggs, add a small amount of hot milk to egg mixture, whisking rapidly. Slowly add remainder of milk, whisking constantly.
  10. Return mixture to saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture simmers, thickens, and coats the back of a spoon, approximately 5 minutes.
  11. Remove from heat. Add butter and banana extract, stirring until butter is melted and incorporated.
  12. Cover surface of pudding with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool slightly. Refrigerate until ready to fill tart shells.
  13. Preheat oven to 425°.
  14. In another medium bowl, combine remaining 4 egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, and beat at high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  15. Divide diced banana evenly among tart shells. Divide pudding evenly among tart shells. Divide meringue evenly among tart shells. Using the back of a small spoon, make a decorative swirled pattern in meringue.
  16. Bake until meringue is golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
  17. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving, or store in the refrigerator and serve later in the day.
TeaTime Magazine https://www.teatimemagazine.com/
 From TeaTime September/October 2012

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