May 12, 2006

Kitchen Improv: Banana Custard Tart

I was supposed to make a melktert (a South African custard tart) for a potluck on Sunday. The melkert had other plans, however, so thirty minutes before we were supposed to leave, I had a beautiful, crisp, empty tart shell, patiently waiting on the counter, and a resolutely runny custard on the stove which just wouldn’t thicken. When life gives you runny custard… pretend it’s crème patissière, otherwise known as: vanilla custard that’s meant to go in the bottom of a fruit tart. So I schloomped some into the tart crust, and topped it with three bananas which I’d sliced, tossed in brown sugar and lime juice, and sautéed in butter with a splash of rum. I sprinkled a bit of cinnamon on top, and since I was left with fifteen minutes to spare, I drizzled it generously with melted chocolate. It is a rare dessert which isn’t improved by the addition of melted chocolate.

But I cannot take all the praise for this delicious concoction. It was inspired by:

1) Watching McFix-It attempting to flambée bananas a couple weeks ago. She won herself the dubious title of Only Person to Ever Struggle to Set Fire to Rum-Soaked Bananas on a Gas Stove. It must be years of instinctive Bunsen Burner safety measures kicking in.

2) My mother, who chatted me through the melktert crisis, while she worked in her kitchen nine thousand miles away in Cape Town. There’s something very calming, envisioning my mother, phone sandwiched between her shoulder and ear, pottering around the kitchen at home, while I pottered slightly more frenetically around my kitchen in New England, in identical phone-sandwich pose.

3) Bananas on the Rum, my New Favourite Flavour at Ben and Jerry’s. Hey, their Ice Cream Bill of Rights clearly states that I have the right to change my favourite flavour without warning, at any time. Banana ice cream, caramel swirls, slight tang of rum. Mmm…

4) The Banana Cream Tart at Pastiche, my most favourite foodery in all of Providence. Words fail to describe the nirvana that is their Banana Cream Tart (proper noun, if you please).

Categories: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home