3 x ripe (not black), medium bananas (approximately 300g peeled weight)
100g golden caster sugar
100ml brandy (or Marc du Jura for extra authenticity, if you can get hold of some!)
1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways, seeds scraped out
25g unsalted butter
100g Comté, sliced very finely (a younger Comté would be best, eg 8 to 12 months)
A sweet-savoury dessert – the bananas ooze as they cook and become caramelised, combining beautifully with the melted Comté.
Preheat oven to 200˚C (180˚C fan).
Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with flour and roll out your puff pastry until it’s just over 0.5cm thick (to fit an ovenproof frying pan, about 20 to 25cm in diameter, leaving a little extra around the edge). Put the pastry to one side.
Peel bananas, then slice on the diagonal, about 2cm thick.
Put the pan on a medium heat and add the sugar, brandy, vanilla seeds and pod. Let the sugar dissolve and cook until the mixture goes foamy and then forms a light caramel. Once the caramel looks and smells delicious (it should be a rich chestnut brown colour at this stage), add the butter, swirl until melted, then add the bananas. Carefully push the bananas down in the pan so they are surrounded by caramel and cook for about 5 minutes or until the bananas start to become caramelised.
Remove from the heat, lay the slices of Comté over the bananas and then the pastry on top. Quickly and carefully tuck the pastry down right into the edges – you can use a wooden spoon so you don’t touch the caramel.
Bake the tarte tatin for about 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden, with crispy caramel bubbling up from under the edges. Take it out of the oven and turn out onto a serving plate or board. Put it to one side for a few minutes, so the caramel can cool down, then divide it up and serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche or vanilla ice cream.