Friday, February 1, 2008

Banana Tartlets

1/2 cup toasted macadamia nuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup caster sugar
6 sheets filo pastry
2 oz butter, melted
4 bananas
Thick cream, to serve

Passionfruit sauce
1 cup caster sugar
12 passionfruit, flesh removed

To make the sauce, place the sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat to high and boil for 5 minutes. While the sugar syrup is boiling, place the passionfruit flesh in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds (this helps separate the flesh from the seeds). Add the flesh and seeds to the syrup and cook for a further 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
To make the tartlets, preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a baking sheet.
Place the nuts and 4 tablespoons sugar in a bowl and mix well.
Lay one sheet of filo on a workbench, brush with some melted butter, then sprinkle with about 1/2 tablespoon of the nut and sugar mixture. Repeat with the remaining filo, butter and nuts until you have a pile of 6 layers. Use a 4 inch pastry cutter to cut out 6 rounds from the pastry, discarding any excess. Place the 6 pastry stacks on the greased baking sheet. Cover the stacks with a piece of baking paper, then place a slightly smaller baking tray on top to weigh the pastries down. Bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden and crisp.
Preheat the grill to high.
Slice the bananas into thin diagonal slices and fan out on top of each pastry disc. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Grill for 1-2 minutes until the bananas have charred slightly and the sugar has caramelised. (Alternatively use a kitchen blow torch.) Place each banana tartlet on a serving plate. Serve with a dollop of cream and passionfruit sauce. Excess sauce will keep for up to 1 week refrigerated, and tastes terrific served over ice-cream.

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