I was very excited to see my post up on the Cooking Channel‘s Devour the Blog yesterday. I’ll be contributing regularly over the next few months and hope you will make the jump with me. It was my first visit, so I gave a lot of thought about what to bring before deciding on a pastelón de platano maduro. It had been awhile since I’d made one and I was dying to update one of my favorites, especially since I’d discovered recao and ajicitos tucked in between the parsley and peppers at the grocery store. Once it was baked, photographed and eaten, my mind went to the plantain recipes I hadn’t tried. I’d made tostones on the fly, mariquitas when I was feeling restless, and tortilla de platanos maduros just because. With a bowl full of plantains that were just past ripe, it was time for dessert. One of my favorite recipes – breakfast, lunch or dinner – is platanos en tentación. If I didn’t already love the ripe plantains sprinkled with sugar, cinnamon and vino seco then baked until it’s brown and bubbling, I’d love it for the name alone. Despite being all sweetness and caramel, we’d always have it as a side dish, a technicality that fooled no one. I love tarte tatin and with apples going the way of snow boots and puffy coats, ripe plantains seemed like the perfect alternative. Just like the apples in the tatin, even the burned bits of plantain are kind of great. In addition to the sugars, cinnamon and melted butter, I added dark rum – a little added temptation before the austerity of lent sets in.
Tarte Tentación/Ripe Plantain Tart
3-4 ripe plantains, completely yellow and black
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons, unsalted butter, melted plus more for greasing
2 tablespoons dark rum
For the crust:
1 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ¼ sticks or 5 oz. unsalted butter, cubed and held cold until needed
2-3 tablespoons of ice water
To make the crust, sift together all dry ingredients and pulse in the food processor, 1-2 pulses to distribute evenly. Add the butter and pulse together until the butter flakes into pea-size pieces. Add ice water gradually until it begins to just hold together.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. For the fraisage or final blending, smear the dough a few spoonfuls at a time across the board with the heel of your hand. Gather the dough with a scrapper and form into a mound. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9” pie plate or rectangular baking pan with butter.
Combine the sugars, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Peel and slice the plantains in half horizontally. Sprinkle the bottom of the greased pan evenly with half of the sugar mixture. Lay the plantains cut side up in the pan so that they’re packed in side by side. Drizzle the plantains with the rum and top with the remaining sugar. Finally, pour the melted butter over the plantains.
On a lightly floured board, roll out dough to about 1/8″ thick. Prick the dough with a fork in several places to allow the steam to escape. Lay the dough over the plantains, lightly pressing down so that they are entirely covered, folding the corners back on itself. Place in the lower third of the oven and bake until the crust is lightly browned and the sugar has caramelized, 45-60 minutes.
Remove from oven and unmold while still warm. Set a serving dish over baking pan and carefully flip. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.