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!
Ice cream 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 Tarte tartin 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