Philip Johnson from famed E'cco Bistro in Brisbane, is, among other things, a master of superb desserts.
I love his twist on classic apple tart tatin: creamy rum caramel and bananas topped with puff pastry, cooked until golden and sticky, flipped over and served with melting spoonfuls of rum and raisin ice cream. Wicked!
150 g (5 ounces) raisins
125 ml (½ cup) dark rum
300 g (10 ounces) caster sugar
12 egg yolks
500 ml (2 cups) milk
500 ml (2 cups) cream
1 roll frozen butter puff pastry, defrosted (or use thinly rolled home-made pastry)
6 large bananas
250 g (about 8½ ounces) caster sugar
60 ml (¼ cup) water
80 ml (⅓ cup) dark rum
60 ml (¼ cup) cream
1 egg, beaten, for egg wash
1 For the ice cream: soak raisins in dark rum overnight.
2 In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and egg yolks. Place milk and cream in a 2 litre (about US 2 pint) saucepan and bring almost to the boil. Whisk hot milk mixture into the egg mix, then return to a clean saucepan and place over a moderate heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir constantly until custard thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Do not let mixture boil. Strain through a fine sieve, then refrigerate until cold.
3 Churn cold ice cream mixture in an ice cream machine. Once fully churned, stir rum and raisins through, and store in the freezer.
4 For the tarte tatin: pre-heat the oven to 220ºC (425°F). Butter a 26–28 cm fry pan (10-11” skillet). Cut the puff pastry to fit the top of the pan and set aside. Peel bananas and slice thickly on the diagonal.
5 Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir over a low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, and boil without stirring until syrup turns to a dark caramel colour. Immediately remove from the heat and, very carefully, as caramel spits, stir in the rum. Return to a low heat and stir until smooth, then add cream and bring to the boil.
6 Pour the caramel into the base of the pan. Arrange sliced banana in concentric circles, then top with the puff pastry circle. Egg-wash pastry by brushing with beaten egg. Take care not to let egg run down the edge of the pastry. Bake for 10–12 minutes or until pastry is golden.
7 To serve: remove the tart from oven and, while still quite hot, invert tart onto the centre of a serving plate. Top each serving with a spoonful of rum and raisin ice cream.
Recipe by Philip Johnson, E’cco Restaurant, from The Great Australian Cookbook