This past week I went to a “Drunk TED Talk” in Brooklyn… and the topic was “crushes.” Perfect for Valentine’s Day, am I right? Comedian Ana Fabrega was one of the featured speakers, and she gave an achingly funny presentation on how to let your crush know that you like them. I could relate a little too well.
Valentine’s Day brings about thoughts of past crushes for everyone. I remember how on-top-of-the-world I felt after asking a guy for his e-mail address (not his phone number!) after a final theater performance in sixth grade… nope, I never emailed him! I know, so awkward. That scrap of well-earned paper is probably still in my childhood bedroom somewhere.
This year, I challenge you to ask out your crush in a much sweeter (and classier) way; with these Salted Caramel Banana Pop-Tarts! Maybe “Pop-Hearts” or “Heart-Tarts” would be a more accurate name for these cute little banana custard treats. Nothing says “I LIKE-like you” like these DIY delicacies. Scroll down for the recipe!
Salted Caramel Banana Pop-Tarts
Part 1: Banana Custard
This banana custard is to DIE for. You’ll be lucky if you actually get to the final Pop-Tart stage. All I wanted to do was eat a bowl of the custard with a spoon!
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ripe bananas
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 6 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Combine sliced bananas, milk, and vanilla in a medium sauce pan over low heat. Bring to a simmer.
- Strain the banana milk through a mesh sieve. Discard the solids. Put back over the heat and bring to a simmer.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg yolks, and cornstarch.
- When the banana milk is hot, temper it in the egg mixture. By adding a small amount of the hot milk into the egg mixture, you avoid creating little bits of scrambled the eggs. Transfer everything back into the saucepan.
- Cook the custard on low heat until it thickens and starts to bubble. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter, until the mixture has a smooth consistency.
- Refrigerate until cool and thick. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap up against the custard to prevent a skin from forming.
Part 2: Pop-Tart Dough
This pie dough is light and flakey. I suggest rolling out the dough as thin as you can so that the banana filling flavor isn’t overpowered.
- 2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into around 1/2-inch cubes
- 4 – 5 Tablespoons ice water
- one egg
- Mix together the salt, flour, and sugar.
- Add butter and mix until the butter is fully incorporated and the mixture is crumbly. Add water.
- Form dough into a ball and chill for about an hour.
- Roll dough out onto a floured surface. The thinner you roll out the dough, the stronger the banana filling taste will be.
- Cut dough into desired Pop-Tart shapes, and make sure that each piece has a match.
- Arrange the bottom halves of your Pop-Tarts on a baking sheet, spaced evenly apart.
- Mix the egg and paint a thin layer onto one side of the bottom Pop-Tart halves. This will help to glue the bottom half of the Pop-Tart to the top half.
- Place a spoonful of banana custard in the middle of each piece.
- Place the matching half on top of each piece. Using a fork, press the edge of the top into the bottom.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until golden. Rotate half way through baking. Let cool before adding the icing and the caramel.
Part 3: Vanilla Glaze
This is a basic vanilla glaze that I often use on sugar cookies.
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons half and half, with more as needed to reach desired consistency
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Gradually incorporate the half and half into the powdered sugar. Once desired consistency has been reached, add vanilla.
- Pour on top of baked Pop-Tarts.
Part 4: Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Bring brown sugar, butter, and milk to a gentle boil and cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.
- While still very hot, drizzle on top of glazed Pop-Tarts.
I topped the Pop-Tarts off with a pinch of sea salt on top of each heart. I also added a few pieces of edible gold leaf.