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Deliciously Organic: Banana Cream Tart and Give-Away

Deliciously Organic

A blog devoted entirely to simple, wholesome, organic cooking.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Banana Cream Tart and Give-Away

I think many of us have the idea that when we switch to wholesome, organic ingredients, we have to give up our favorites. Many of my friends either give up desserts entirely or pull out the white sugar and white flour when they want dessert because they don't know any other way to do it. I'm drawn to re-creating desserts because most of us know how to make a salad or healthy dinner, but give in completely when it comes to dessert. I've recently discovered ways to do a little tweaking here and there so I can make any dessert using whole, organic ingredients.

Banana cream pie is one of those nostalgic desserts we all loved as kids. For me, it never fails to conjure memories of a vanilla wafer crust, box-pudding mix, bananas, and whipped cream eaten on a Sunday afternoon at Grandma's house. While the pie brings good memories, it usually lacks flavor and has way too many preservatives from all the boxed ingredients involved. I decided to take banana cream pie to a completely different level with a whole wheat crust, smooth caramel, simple homemade pudding, and a lovely sweet cloud of meringue on top. 

I would love my meringue to look something like this (gorgeous, right?) but I'm not a pastry chef and I don't have a hand-held torch to lightly brown the meringues. On top of that, our current home oven has a broiler drawer at the bottom, near the floor (isn't that the most inconvienent place for a broiler?). Imagine me, kneeling on the floor with mits on my hands, pulling out the drawer every 15 seconds to make sure I didn't burn the meringue. I realized this recipe would be so much easier with a chef's torch, so I'm giving one away this week, hopefully saving one lucky winner from aching knees. All you need to do is leave a comment between today and Sunday, February 28th and I'll pick a number at random (using and announce the winner on Monday.  Good luck!

Banana Cream Tart
Makes 1 9-inch tart or 6 individual tartelettes

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (also known as soft wheat flour)
1/4 cup organic whole cane sugar or sucanat (to read more click here)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons water

1/2 cup organic whole cane sugar or sucanat
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons fresh cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/3 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons organic whole cane sugar or sucanat, divided
7 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon arrowroot
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 bananas, sliced thin

3 egg whites
3 tablespoons maple syrup

For crust:
Pour flour and whole cane sugar in bowl of food processor and pulse twice to combine. Add butter and process until dough starts to come together. Add 2 tablespoons water and pulse to bind the dough. Dough should not be dry, if it is add a bit more water. If it's too wet, add a little flour. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the counter and pour dough out. Shape dough into a disk, wrap, and freeze for 10 minutes or refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and adjust rack to middle position. If making tartelettes then divide dough into 6 equal portions. Instead of rolling to a certain thickness I like to roll out the dough, place my tartelette pan on top and see if it's large enough to go in the pan. If it is, I transfer the dough to the tartelette pan, if not, I keep rolling. Line each pan with a small round of parchment paper and then line with pie weights, beans, rice, or whatever you have on hand. Bake for 15 minutes, remove pie weights, and bake for 5 minutes more, until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

Caramel:  Whisk together whole cane sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and let mixture simmer for about 5 minutes, or until sugar turns deep amber. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in cream and then butter.

Pudding:  Heat milk and 1 1/2 tablespoons whole cane sugar over medium heat until steaming. Beat egg yolks, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons whole cane sugar, and vanilla until thick (about 45 seconds). Whisk in arrowroot until smooth. Slowly pour hot milk over yolks, whisking constantly to avoid clumping. Pour milk/egg mixture into a medium saucepan and heat over medium, whisking constantly until thick, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover surface with parchment paper to prevent a skin from forming. Chill for at least 1 hour.

Meringue:  Whip egg whites until foamy and then slowly add maple syrup. Whip until stiff peaks form.

To assemble:  Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons caramel into each tartelette crust. Top with a layer of sliced bananas. Divide pudding among tartelettes and spread evenly. Top with meringue and brown with a chef's torch or under a broiler (for about 30 seconds or until lightly browned)

Chill for 30 minutes before serving. These tartelettes are best eaten the day they are made because the meringue will begin to weep after a few hours.


Blogger Unknown said...

I love brûléed foods. Would love a mini torch

February 24, 2010 at 1:51 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

This looks delicious! I love the shot of the pie-weight beans in the crusts for pre-baking!

February 24, 2010 at 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How cute! I find it so important to cook and bake with fresh ingredients as well. Although some may not be organic, I try my best to be as organic as possible when I'm in the kitchen. Your blog def inspires me and lights the fire! Love the tartlettes! :D

February 24, 2010 at 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Naomi said...

I'd never thought of using maple syrup in meringue before, would probably be really good with the banana.

February 24, 2010 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger funkiefoodie said...

My man has been begging me for banana cream pie and this recipe uses all the things I like to use ... whole wheat flour and arrowroot, stuff in the cupboard. What a divine recipe. Thank you.

February 24, 2010 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

So cute! I love the mini tart pans! Got a good laugh thinking of the broiler drawer. Ours was like that in our Seminary apartment...pretty sure that we never used it b/c we didn't know how! We would love a torch...sounds like something Brandon would love...a kitchen man-tool! Oh, and I STILL dream of the snickers like tart thing you made when we came for dinner one time...any chance of you sharing that recipe??

February 24, 2010 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

Lovely! Can't wait to try it. Can't wait to be home with the kids so we can all learn!! What are your thoughts on using thin sheets of silicone (reusable)for weighing down your pastry? Or silicone in general. /Stashymama on Twitter, or Ann, your AHO chick =)

February 24, 2010 at 2:17 PM  
Blogger Deliciously Organic said...

Ann: I prefer to stay away from silicone or any plastic material when baking because it could leach into the food. Don't really have a study to "prove" that, but it's just my personal opinion. :)

February 24, 2010 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger Deliciously Organic said...

Kristen: I can email the recipe to you...I think it was from Bon Appetit, but I made a whole wheat crust with it instead of what the recipe called for.

February 24, 2010 at 2:51 PM  
Anonymous Stacy said...

My Azure Standard order just arrived and I got some whole wheat pastry flour that I'm so excited to try out!

Do you use the same beans all the time for pie weights, or do you cook them later? I read somewhere not to cook them after I had already done so to some... Oops.

February 24, 2010 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Clara said...

This is really pretty food! I hope it tastes half as nice as it looks, this would make me more than happy! And yes, the "professional" meringue looked really gorgeous!

February 24, 2010 at 2:59 PM  
Blogger KJB said...

Great post as it forces the reader to think about how recipes can be modified. I read this one and thought, I could change it to lemon. Many thanks.


February 24, 2010 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I came across your blog a few weeks ago because it was mentioned on another blog I read and I just love it. You inspire me to cook/bake more organically. And now I can't wait for your cookbook to come out this fall.

February 24, 2010 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Deliciously Organic said...

Stacy: Yes, I use the same beans each time. I even use the same parchment paper rounds! You shouldn't use the beans after they've been baked, if you do, they will be very hard! :)

KJB: I think the same way when I read recipes! hmm...I should try the lemon too!

February 24, 2010 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger Chocolate Shavings said...

Those tarts look absolutely perfect!

February 24, 2010 at 3:25 PM  
Anonymous Liren said...

Beautiful! They look gorgeous (and I bet they taste fantastic!!!).

February 24, 2010 at 3:27 PM  
Blogger Marie said...

They're so cute! And I bet they taste fantastic.

February 24, 2010 at 3:49 PM  
Blogger KitchenConfetti said...

Love your blog and visit it every day ever since I found it, not too long ago...However, so far I tried only your beet salad(mom's favorite) and love it, love it!
Looking forward to try many other recepies, wishlist is very long...
For this pie, I definetly go for key lime, since bananas for me taste best only fresh!
hugs, you are one of my favorite bloggers , hope you keep writing!

February 24, 2010 at 3:57 PM  
Blogger Topher said...

Can't wait to try the recipe. Thanks for the giveaway!!


zekks at yahoo dot com

February 24, 2010 at 4:06 PM  
Blogger llamamama said...

This looks great! I love banana cream pie so I will definitely have to give this a try!

February 24, 2010 at 4:38 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

sounds great a mini torch would be awesome thanks

February 24, 2010 at 4:49 PM  
Anonymous katy@thoughtforfood said...

I'm in.

February 24, 2010 at 4:49 PM  
Anonymous Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

Just been borrowing my sister's torch, and would love to have one of my own!

These little tartlets are adorable!

February 24, 2010 at 6:21 PM  
Blogger Paige said...

You must cook non-stop! WOW! Can I come live with you? Those look so yummy and look like they took forever to make. I'd love to try them, but haven't made adjustments (flour, sugar, arrowroot) to my pantry :(

February 24, 2010 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

These tarts look amazing!

February 24, 2010 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Rebecca T said...

is sucanat different from that other sugar you talk about (starts with an R, can't ever remember the name!)? i haven't ever found that "R" sugar even at Central Market. i have some turbinado...not sure how to use it. just for now, i gave up sugar (except in fruit) for Lent. Miss your classes!!!!

February 24, 2010 at 10:04 PM  
Anonymous nakedbeet said...

I love the idea behind this recipe and as you, I try to tweak favorite desserts with whole ingredients where I can. Also, you had me at blow torch. ; )

February 24, 2010 at 10:11 PM  
Anonymous na said...

And Rebecca T, you're thinking of Rapidura which is being renamed I believe to whole cane sugar and is similar to sucanat in that it's a whole cane sugar but the two are supposedly created/processed a little differently from one another.

February 24, 2010 at 10:13 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

i agree that most people just give up desserts! im inspired to try to make more "decadent" desserts healthier! thanks!

February 25, 2010 at 2:42 AM  
Blogger Ana Maria said...

I love the shot of the multi-colored beans to weigh down the shells! What an inspired idea! (I just use by boring ceramic pie weights, but they work.) Can't wait to see the book - AM

February 25, 2010 at 4:26 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Those tarts looks amazing! I've always wanted one of those torches- just never got around to getting one.

February 25, 2010 at 4:40 AM  
Blogger Christi said...

That would be amazing to own a torch!! Once I make the tarts I would definitely like to make the coconut creme cake with the beautiful meringue on Zoe Bakes!

February 25, 2010 at 4:47 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Your dessert looks fantastic! DEspite what you said about not making a perfect meringue or being a professional, I counter that! It looks beautiful. Great giveaway too!

February 25, 2010 at 5:18 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Yum! Looks delicious!

February 25, 2010 at 5:29 AM  
Blogger Deliciously Organic said...

Paige: Yea, I do cook non-stop but I love it! Maybe this recipe could nudge you a bit to make a few changes? :) All of the ingredients (except the sugar) can be found at any grocery store...the sugar/sucanat can be found at any health food store. I's not as hard as it looks!

Rebecca: Yes, they have renamed rapadura to "organic whole cane sugar" I emailed the company to find out why but never heard a reply. Sucanat is processed a bit differently (as Na pointed out) but has the same nutritional value. Turbinado is just white sugar with a bit of molassas added back for color. (I know, no one likes to hear that!) :)

February 25, 2010 at 6:04 AM  
Blogger Lisanne Boling said...

Thank you so much for this fantastic giveaway! I have wanted a torch for quite some time but have never been able to justify getting one.

February 25, 2010 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger Katia said...

Those tarts do look amazing. Not as difficult as I thought it might be. Thanks for giving us our dessert.

February 25, 2010 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger Skye said...

I absolutely love your blog! I'm going to try your butterscotch brownies for my husbands birthday. oh and thanks for the tip on sucanat, I used it for the first time yesterday for pumpkin butter and loved it! We also tried your whole wheat bread recipe. we need pracitce but the flavor and texture was great. Thanks again for a great blog =)

February 25, 2010 at 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Lib said...

Just perfect for our dinner club!

February 25, 2010 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger running shoes said...

look delicious!

February 25, 2010 at 12:35 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Looks wonderful. Can't wait to try the recipe.


February 25, 2010 at 12:51 PM  
Blogger raina said...

These look delicious!

February 25, 2010 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

YUM!!!! I wouldn't mind having one of those coll babies. Thanks for the chance.

February 25, 2010 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Marti said...

I've always wanted one of those little torches. Is it because I love to cook... or am I a closet pyro?

Either way, give it up! (Please?)

February 25, 2010 at 8:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't wait to make this with my new torch
either way , I'm gonna get one!!!
Michele s.
Edwards afb

February 25, 2010 at 11:56 PM  
Blogger kyrajane said...

Love the idea of using Maple Syrup in the meringue. Sounds delicious. I've shied away from making meringue because i live at such a hight altitude, but when I move from here in 3 years, this will be a new one to try!!

February 26, 2010 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I've given the mini torches away as a gift before but still don't own one! I'd love to win one. Thanks for the fun giveaway!

February 26, 2010 at 1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those look BEAUTIFUL and yummy!!!

February 26, 2010 at 3:38 PM  
Blogger Debbie said...

this pie looks deeeelish. i <3 anything with bananas! thanks for the recipe!

February 26, 2010 at 9:43 PM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

My younger sister LOVES banana cream pie, I should definitly treat her with this.

Fingers crossed for the chef's torch ;)

February 28, 2010 at 7:14 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Thank you for showing us that healthy can be delicious too! Can't wait to try these!

February 28, 2010 at 7:14 PM  
Anonymous nakedbeet said...

DO, the reason they changed the name is because Brazil sued the German company, Rapunzel, for using the name "Rapadura," which is basically "sugar" in their language. It's like copyrighting Sake on a brand sake bottle and trying to sell that as their own. The only reason I know this is because I've done some web sleuthing about Rapadura lately and I came across this legal issue of theirs. They just haven't updated their website yet. The bags of this were unavailable for a few months in my WF store from around November till early February and now my guess is that it was because they were repackaging them under the new name. (NA is me, the post went up before I was finished)

March 1, 2010 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger Deliciously Organic said...

nakedbeet: That's very interesting! I did notice it was hard to find for a while and now I understand why. Thanks for letting me know!

March 1, 2010 at 3:35 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I recently found your blog while looking for a whole wheat tortilla recipe. I make them, and loved them, and have passed on the post to others. I love the whole concept behind your blog; I am also trying to provide healthier food for my husband and myself. Thank you.

March 4, 2010 at 3:33 PM  

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