I am originally from the island of Mauritius , a piece of paradise in the Indian Ocean East coast of Southern Africa. Mauritius was uninhabited then taken over by the French and subsequently the British . Indians were brought to the island as indentured labourers and the chinese came to invest in small businesses. Slaves were brought from Africa. The beauty of this multicultural society lies in the fusion of its food . The food of Mauritius is a unique blend of French, indian , african and chinese cuisines. French baguette is quite a staple in Mauritius and not at all uncommon to eat with a spicy curry ( Pretty similar to the Vietnamese Banh Mi).
The french influence has left its mark with great pastries. Mauritians in general have a sweet tooth and when it comes to pastries one that stands out from everything else is undoubtedly the Banana Pie or Tarte à la Bananes. Rich buttery flaky crust with a sweet smooth banana paste . One of my most favorites mauritian pastries like many others. This is a must have with a great cup of tea on any afternoon while chillaxing ! Very rich , this is a treat to be enjoyed on rare occasions :)
For the Tart Shell
150g [1cup] all purpose flour and a little extra for dusting
100g good quality unsalted butter, cubed
For the banana filling5-6 ripe bananas
5 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Lattice150g [1 cup] all purpose flour
75g good quality unsalted butter, cubed
Milk, for glazing (To achieve the golden color on top at the end - Milk + 1 egg yolk can also be used)
- Place 100g butter in a bowl and sift over 1 cup flour.
- Knead into a soft dough. You may need to add extra flour to achieve the correct consistency.
- You can use a food processor for this step, just pulse a couple of times only until crumbly and knead by hand until dough comes together , do not overwork dough, try to handle as little as you can. This will give you a flaky shortcrust shell.
- Press dough into a 9 inch fluted tart pan.
- Refrigerate the crust for about 45 mins
- Now prepare the lattice in the same way as you did for the tart shell. Kead into a soft ball and flatten into a disc.
- Remove tart shell from fridge and prick all over with a fork. Bake in a preheated oven at 325F for 15-20 minutes.
- Mash bananas and cook in a pan with brown sugar under medium heat till it turns a shade darker and comes together in a mass. It will stop sticking to base and sides of pan. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.Add vanilla extract
- Your tart shell should also be done by now. Remove from oven.
- Drop tablespoons of filling in the shell and level surface. Do not overfill
- Remove lattice from fridge. Roll out between sheets of parchment paper until 1/4 inch thick. Cut into long strips 1 cm wide
- Layer strips in a crisscross pattern over filling. Press ends into crust.
- Brush lattice generously with milk glaze and return to oven.
- Bake at 325oF for 45-60 minutes on lower shelf till crust is golden.
- Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Slice with a sharp knife.
- Serve warm or cold with a cup of tea/coffee.
- You can also make individual tarts using single mini tart moulds or a muffin tray and use lattice in a similar manner