THIS RECIPE IS FROM CRUMB: THE BAKING BOOK by RUBY TANDOH
This was initially an improvised dessert, scraped together from the leftovers in the fridge and half a dozen old bananas, but it has since become one of the recipes of which I am most proud. If you’re in any doubt about pairing fruit and herb, just take a good sniff of ripe banana and a sprig of thyme side by side. The heady, Mediterranean aromatics of thyme sit as naturally with creamy banana as if they were made for one another. Like any great romance worth its salt, it’s a perfectly odd, oddly perfect couple. Whatever you do, don’t use dried thyme, which will overpower even the ripest bananas.
Makes 1 tart, serving 4 generously
250-300g puff pastry
5–6 large, ripe bananas, but not overripe
4–5 tablespoons demerara sugar
Leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme (about 1 tablespoon)
1 Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas mark 7 and line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
2 Cut the bananas into chunky slices, each around 2cm thick. In a large bowl toss the bananas together with the demerara and thyme until the fruit is encrusted with sugar crystals and little thyme leaves.
3 Roll your pastry into a rectangle around 20x25cm and lay it on the lined baking tray. Arrange the coated banana slices all over the pastry, leaving a border of a couple of centimetres around the outside. Bake for 20–25 minutes, until caramelised patches begin to creep across the tops of the bananas, and the pastry is flaky and crisp. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream melting over the lot and, better still, drizzled with chocolate sauce.