Banana Pie or Banana Tarte Tatin?
What is a tarte tatin?
A tarte tatin is a pie that is made upside down. Most people think the term tarte tatin refers only to a French apple pie, as this is the most famous version of a tarte tatin. However, you can make a tarte tatin with any fruit. You can even make a savory version with vegetables. See for instance my recipes for a Belgian Endive Pie and a Tomato Tarte Tatin.
A tarte tatin usually starts by caramelizing your featured fruit or vegetable in a little butter and sugar in a pan. Next you roll out dough on top of the fruit or vegetables placed nicely in a baking dish, tucking the edges of the dough inwards to catch any spillover juices. Then pop the pie into the oven to bake until the dough becomes golden brown. Once the pie cools slightly, flip it over onto a plate so the caramelized fruit or vegetables appear on top.
In short, a tarte tatin is an upside-down pie. It’s nevertheless a pie. So this dessert is both a Banana Pie and a Banana Tarte Tatin. No matter what you call it, this pie is delicious and easy to make.
How else can you make this Banana Pie?
In this recipe, I use a pâte brisée (pastry crust) for the crust. I like the contrast between a firmer crust and the softer, stickier caramel banana filling.
However, if you prefer a flakier crust, try making this pie with a quick puff pastry crust. Or try a denser shortcake base to absorb the juices from the caramelized bananas. See for instance, Nigel Slater’s Banana Shortcake recipe, which resembles this recipe.
Chocolate and Nuts are perfect additions to this Banana Pie. Add the walnut or pecan pieces at the end of the caramelization process so they incorporate fully in the melted caramel.
Chocolate, however, is best added to the bottom of the pie dish, with the bananas placed on top. This way, when you flip over the pie there will be melted chocolate on top of the caramelized bananas.
How to Serve the Banana Pie
Banana Pie is delicious served warm. You can make the Banana Pie in advance and then heat it in the oven before serving. No need to heat it too much as the flavors come out best when warm, not steaming hot.
Serving a warm piece of Banana Pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or with a dab of sweetened whipped cream is really perfect. Ice cream or whipped cream pairs nicely with the banana and adds a cooler touch to the warm pie.