banana cream tart with a layer of dark chocolate ganache


Having missed the Arrested Development bandwagon the first time around, Matt and I decided to watch the show from the beginning before starting the recently released season.  Not only do I find the show absolutely hilarious, it’s also fun to be reminded of certain Southern California landmarks, like the many chocolate covered banana stands on Balboa Island in Newport Beach.  Watching the show leaves me with a profound craving for a frozen, chocolate covered banana {and corn holes, whatever those are}.

I decided to pay a slight homage to this brilliant show by creating a banana cream tart.   I modernized a traditional, southern banana cream pie by making a flaky all butter pastry tart shell and adding a layer of dark chocolate ganache {which is really just cream and chocolate mixed together}.  Layering the banana slices in the velvety vanilla pastry cream infuses the entire tart with a delicious mellow sweetness, which contrasts beautifully with sharpness of the dark chocolate.

Remember, there’s always money in the banana stand!  Also, for any other fans of the show who have spent any time in San Francisco, check this out {thank you Suneeta}!




Vanilla Scented Pastry Cream

Adapted slightly from Tartine

  • 2 c. whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 c. plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Have a bowl ready for cooling the pastry cream with a fine-mesh sieve resting in the rim.

Pour the milk into a heavy saucepan. Split the vanilla bean half lengthwise and use the tip of a sharp knife to scrape the seeds from the pod halves into the milk. Add the salt, place over medium-high heat, and bring to just under a boil, stirring occasionally and making sure that the milk solids are not sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and sugar. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth.

When the milk is ready, slowly ladle about one-third of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the hot milk and continue whisking over medium heat until the custard is as thick as lightly whipped cream, about 2 minutes. In order for the cornstarch to cook and thicken fully, the mixture must just come to the boiling point. You want to see a few slow bubbles. However, if the cream is allowed to boil vigorously, you will curdle the pastry cream. Remove from heat and immediately pour through the sieve into the bowl. Let cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to release the heat and prevent a skim from forming on top.

Cut the butter into 1-tablespoon pieces. When the pastry cream is ready {it should be about 140°F}, whisk the butter into the pastry cream 1 tablespoon at a time, always whisking until smooth before adding the next tablespoon.

To cool the cream, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the top of the cream {the plastic wrap prevents a skin from forming on the surface}. To cool it very quickly, place it in a shallow dish and press plastic wrap directly on top. Be careful whisking the cream once it is cold. Overmixing will break down the starch and thin the cream. Pastry cream will keep, well covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Flaky Tart Dough

From Tartine

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 c. water, very cold
  • 1 1/2 c. flour, plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

In a small bowl, add the salt to the water and stir to dissolve. Keep very cold until ready to use {I placed it in the freezer for about 5 minutes while I got the rest of the ingredients ready}.

To make the dough by hand, put the flour in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into 1 inch pieces and scatter the pieces over the flour. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture forms large crumbs and some of the butter is still in pieces the size of peas. Drizzle in the water and salt mixture and stir and toss with a fork until the dough begins to come together in a shaggy mess. Gently mix until the dough comes together into a ball but is not completely smooth. You should still be able to see some butter chunks.

On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into 1 ball and shape the ball into a disk 1 inch thick. Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

To line a pan or pie dish, place a disk of dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/8 inch thick, rolling from the center toward the edge in all directions. Lift and rotate the dough a quarter turn every few strokes to discourage sticking, and work quickly to prevent the dough from becoming warm. Lightly dust the work surface with extra flour as needed to prevent sticking. If lining a pie dish, cut out a circle 2 inches larger than the dish. If lining a tart pan with a removable bottom, cut out a circle 1 1/2 inches larger than the pan. Carefully transfer the round to the pie dish or tart pan, easing it into the bottom and sides and then pressing gently into place. Trim the dough event with the rim of the pan with a sharp knife. If you are lining a pie dish, you can trim the dough so that there is a 1/2 inch over-hang, fold the over-hang under, and flute or crimp the edge.

Chill the shell until firm to the touch, 30 minutes to 1 hour, before baking. This ensures the flakiest crust.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line the pastry shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the shell until the surface looks light brown, about 25 minutes; to check, lift a corner of the paper. Remove from the oven and remove pie weights or dried beans and paper. Return the shells to the oven and bake until golden brown, about 5 minutes longer. Note: the cooking time will depend on the size of the tart or pie pans – smaller pans may require less cooking time.

Let the shells cool completely on wire racks before filling.

Banana Cream Pie with Layer of Chocolate Ganache

  • 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream

Place cut chocolate into heat-proof bowl.  Heat cream in a small saucepan until it just comes to a boil.  Pour cream over chocolate and let sit for a few minutes until chocolate softens.  Once softened, whisk chocolate and cream until well combined.  Let ganache cool slightly.

Once the shell has cooled completely and the ganache has cooled slightly, spread the ganache onto the shell.  Spoon half of the pastry cream into the shell. Top gently with banana slices.  Spoon remaining pastry cream over layer of banana slices.  Top layer of pastry cream with another layer of banana slices.





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22 Responses to banana cream tart with a layer of dark chocolate ganache

  1. Such a great homage to the show, and it looks divine!

  2. Heavenly, I love ganache lining the shell of a banana cream pie or tart. This reminds be it’s way too long since I have had a slice of this fantastic pie.

  3. Oh wow – that is decadent! I love the idea of a base layer of ganache. Yummy 😀

  4. What an awesome looking pie, Lindsay! Delicious. And I have to say that I am always so impressed you use real vanilla bean in your recipes =) And Arrested Development! I know! Isn’t it just awesome!? Christopher was the one who first introduced it to me, and we’ve been going thru withdrawals waiting for the just-recently released season. We’re not big watchers of TV (just movies, really), but when we saw it was coming out streaming on Netflix, you’d have thought we’d just found that $20 bill we’d forgotten about in our pocket, lol I dunno … I think this calls for a Arrested Development marathon …


    • fleurdeselsf says:

      OMG, I am obsessed with the show! I love it – all of the actors/characters are incredible and hilarious – there is not one weak link among them! I love that the humor is just slightly dark and twisted. I love shows/movies that make you laugh somewhat in spite of yourself. I hear you on TV generally. Have you seen House of Cards? That’s another good one…

  5. What a delicious tart you created! Such patience when placing each banana slice. Gorgeous.

  6. I feel the need to watch old episodes of Arrested Development and eat banana cream tart! Looks delicious!

  7. laurasmess says:

    This looks so delicious Lindsay. Elegant and understated… such a gorgeously perfect flavour combination 🙂 I’ve never seen Arrested Development! Aaron and I love watching series together though… we’ve watched Parks and Recreation, Game of Thrones and Community over the past year. I think we’ll need to rent Arrested Development next (even just to bake and eat this tart whilst watching it together!). Thanks for the lovely inspiration, as always xx

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Thank you Laura! Oh I love Game of Thrones too! I was a little apprehensive about the show at first since I generally don’t like that genre (I have never seen any of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and have no interest), I am fascinated by the show. Have you watched all the way through Season 3? My goodness there is a scene that haunts me still, 2 weeks later…But I think if you like Community and Parks and Recreation, you will love Arrested Development – it’s a similar type of humor, slightly twisted, but hilarious. I hope you are doing well! xo

      • laurasmess says:

        Ah, I’ll definitely have to watch Arrested Development then! And yes, I understand the reservations about Game of Thrones. It’s pretty confronting in terms of the violence/raunchiness! I did love the Lord of the Rings trilogy though. I read the book at age 12 and have since permanently stored it in my ‘favourites’ category 🙂 I haven’t seen season 3 of Thrones yet but a few of my friends have streamed it from the US. They keep talking about that scene also. Can’t wait to see it! I’m doing well beautiful. Hope you are too xo

  8. Karen says:

    What an absolutely delicious looking banana cream tart…truly decadent.

  9. Cecile says:

    A true work of art – and I’m sure it tastes as good as it looks!!

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