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Recipe courtesy of Duff Goldman

Pretzel-Crusted Butterscotch Banana Cream Tart

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min
  • Active: 1 hr 20 min
  • Yield: One 9-inch tart
Butterscotch is caramel made with brown sugar. It's like caramel, but a little more interesting. Bananas are always great, but I think the star of this dish is the pretzel crust. It's crispy, buttery, and salty. It really goes well with the sweet vanilla pudding and butterscotch. Plus, it's really fun to say pretzel-crusted butterscotch banana cream.


Pretzel Crust:


Butterscotch Sauce:



Special equipment:
9-inch tart pan with removable bottom
  1. Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, pulse the pretzels until they're finely ground but not turned to dust. Some pretzel pieces should still be intact. Transfer the pretzel bits to a large bowl. Add the melted butter and brown sugar to the crushed pretzels and stir to combine.
  3. Place a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom on the prepared sheet and, using a spoon, fill with the pretzel mixture and shape it so the edges are crisp and it's about 1/4 inch thick all over. Bake for 12 to 16 minutes and cool in the pan on a wire rack.
  4. Make the filling: Put a damp kitchen towel under a large bowl and whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and salt. (The towel will ensure the bowl doesn't slide around.)
  5. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the milk until it is above room temperature, about 4 minutes. With one hand, start whisking the cornstarch mixture; with the other hand, slowly drizzle the hot milk into the bowl, whisking until all the milk is incorporated. 
  6. Pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan and cook on medium heat until the filling is thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Don't let it boil. 
  7. Using a rubber spatula, pour the filling into a bowl, then stir in the butter and vanilla until the butter is melted and fully incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing down to make sure that the wrap and the pudding are touching. Refrigerate until it is cool to touch.
  8. Make the butterscotch sauce: Clip a candy thermometer to a large saucepan. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, salt and 3/4 cup of cream to the pan and heat over medium-high heat until it boils, 3 to 5 minutes.
  9. Turn the heat down to medium-low and slowly heat the sauce until it reaches 234 degrees F, about 10 minutes.
  10. When the sauce reaches 234 degrees F, take it off the stove and let it cool for 5 minutes. Pour the sauce into a large bowl. Slowly stir in the butter until incorporated with a wooden spoon. Carefully drizzle in the remaining cream and the vanilla while stirring constantly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside.
  11. Make the tart: Arrange half of the banana slices and chocolate chips if using in the bottom of the tart shell. Pour about half of the filling into the tart shell and spread it around evenly. Eat the remaining pudding with a spoon. (It tastes better if you share.)
  12. Arrange the rest of the bananas and chocolate chips if using on the top of the pastry cream. Put the tart shell in the fridge until you're ready to finish the tart. 
  13. Make the topping: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the cream cheese until it is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and salt and continue to whip, scraping down the sides as needed, until the mixture is well combined, about 1 minute.
  14. With the mixer speed on low, drizzle in the cream. Increase the speed and whisk, scraping down the sides as needed, until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Detach the bowl from the mixer and set aside.
  15. Finish the tart: Remove the tart shell from the fridge. Using a rubber spatula, generously cover the tart with the topping. Artfully drizzle the butterscotch sauce over the pie.
  16. Using a cheese grater, rasp grater or vegetable peeler, shave milk chocolate over the tart. Slice and serve with more butterscotch sauce. 

Cook’s Note

Never leave a child unattended in the kitchen. This recipe is appropriate for children of various ages. When a recipe calls for cooking on the stove or using a knife, an adult should do those activities and let the child assist, if age appropriate. If you want to add milk chocolate chips to the bananas, go right ahead, Chef.