Banana-Mixed Grains Tart

This recipe came about because I had a ton of super ripe bananas I needed to get rid of, and I wanted to get rid of these bananas in a somewhat extravagant fashion. I say somewhat because this tart has a decent amount of bells and whistles to it. Namely in the little craquelin choquettes and bruleed bananas adorning the top of the tart, the sheer volume of bananas I had to blend into the filling(4, which is basically an entire bundle because I am terrible at eating bananas on as consistent of a basis as I am at purchasing them), and the dramatic black color of the tart shell, which helps to really contrast the lighter colors throughout the rest of the pie. With the flavors, I knew I wanted to go down the route of bananas and something similar to peanut butter. And that was when I went towards the sesame route, since I had leftover tahini lying around. I also had this gorgeous injeolmi powder that my friend Ellie gifted to me, just chilling in the freezer, and a lot of oat milk in my freezer, so that’s what sparked the other flavors that ran through this tart. It was definitely a random assortment of ingredients, but the general idea was that this would be a mixed grain and banana tart. Since mixed grains are really delicious and all have a toasty, nutty flavor, I figured that coupled with bananas, something caramel-y, and something creamy would be an ideal combination.

With the components, we have a black sesame pate sucre, acting all the shell and base of the tart. We also have an Injeolmi-banana custard in the middle. Injeolmi is a Korean grain blend, that has these warming, toasty, nutty notes to it, which plays off the sesame nicely. I have made banana desserts in the past, and I try to also use turmeric in them, just to keep the color consistently yellow – naturally banana-flavored components tend to turn this gross off-brown, off-gray color that is unappetizing, so I am using the turmeric to really counteract that. On top of our delicious and not-grossly colored banana filling is a layer of tahini-oat milk butterscotch. And on top of that, an oat milk-injeolmi mascarpone. And then on top of that, we have slices of bananas that we bruleed with sugar, little oat milk-infused cream puffs(called choquettes), that are encrusted in a sesame cookie, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds, just to add fun homages to what is in the tart itself.

I will admit that this tart in its entirety is a lot of work – making both the choquettes and the tart is time-consuming. The choux are very temperamental, and the tart shell requires a lot of waiting around, which was why I even bothered to make the choquettes, as a way to pass the time while you are waiting for the tart shell to cool down, and as the other fillings are setting up – I find with recipes where there is a lot of that, it helps time pass by to make a couple more components here and there that can add or introduce new textures to them, while still using the same ingredients so that you are not muddling up the concept with too many flavors. You can totally omit the choquettes too, truthfully, if you want the main body and intention of what this tart is, which is a banana-sesame-oat-mixed grain concoction of deliciousness, but what I do appreciate about the little puffs are that they add a fun and consistent crunch with each bite. But if you are not that committed to the crunch, the choux are completely skippable, and I won’t be that butt-hurt that you did not choose the path of more suffering when it came to this recipe!

For the black sesame pate sucre:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup black sesame powder
1 tsp activated charcoal powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1 stick unsalted butter
2 tbsp tahini paste
1/4 cup cold oat milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a food processor, blend everything together into a dough. Refrigerate the dough for 10 minutes. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to about 1/8 inch-thickness. Transfer to a lined 8 to 10-inch tart pan, and press the dough inside. Prick the bottom of the dough, and freeze for 15 minutes. Weigh dough the shell with parchment and baking weights. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes, then remove the baking weights and parchment. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes. Allow the tart shell to fully cool before removing from the pan.

For the craquelin:
1 1/2 tbsps all-purpose flour
1/2 tbsp ground white sesame seeds
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp sugar
a pinch of salt

In a bowl, mix everything together to form a dough. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, then divide into 8 pieces, rolling each piece out to be roughly 1/8 inch-thickness. Keep these pieces cold for optimal assembly.

For the choquettes:
1/4 cup oat milk
2 tbsp unsalted butter
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg

In a pot, heat up the oat milk, butter, and salt until the water comes up to a boil, and the butter is fully melted into the liquid. Whisk in the flour until a dough forms. Allow the dough to cool down before adding in the egg. Transfer to a piping bag. Pipe out 8 choux buns onto a lined sheet tray and place on top the craquelin. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes, then at 350 degrees F for another 12 minutes. Transfer to the freezer.

For the roasted banana-injeolmi custard:
4 ripe bananas(if not ripe, roast these, unpeeled, in a 375 degree F oven for 10 minutes)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Injelomi powder
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup oat milk
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3oz butterscotch chips or dulcey
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a blender, puree everything besides the butter, butterscotch chips/dulcey, and the vanilla. Pour that liquid into a pot and whisk on medium heat until it comes to a boil. Take off heat and stir in the butter, butterscotch chips/dulcey, and vanilla, stirring until everything is melted in. Pass through a sieve and refrigerate until cool.

For the oat-tahini toffee:
4oz butterscotch chips or dulcey
2 tbsp tahini paste
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup oat milk

In a pot, heat up all of the ingredients on low heat until everything comes up to a simmer. Continue stirring everything on medium heat until the color is just barely darker than an amber-brown, and the consistently is similar to a caramel.

For initial assembly:
Spread the banana mixture in an even layer into the tart shell. Freeze the two together for 15 minutes, then pour on the toffee. Re-freeze the mixture for at least 20 minutes.

For the oat-injeolmi mascarpone:
1/2 cup oat mik
1/4 cup granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
8oz mascarpone cheese
3 tbsp injeolmi powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a pot, heat up the oat milk, sugar, and salt until the mixture reduces down to a thick paste. Allow this to cool down before folding into room temperature mascarpone cheese. Add in the other ingredients to finish. Keep the mixture covered and refrigerated.

To garnish:
1 green banana
granulated sugar
black and white sesame seeds

Slice the banana into 1/2 inch-thick pieces. Sprinkle sugar onto each slice and gently heat up the sugar on top with a blow torch, with a low flame setting. Once the sugar begins to turn brown, you can move on to the next banana slice.

With the tart, spread on the mascarpone on top of the still-frozen tart.

Transfer the banana slices and choquettes to the top of your tart, and finish with the sesame seeds.

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