Banana, Almond, Rosemary & Pepper Pastries
And of course- this little creation was born of the need to use up leftovers... as usual! Trust me- there is no better source for culinary ideas. Forget your cook books, forget your blogs (but not mine!) and take a look what your pantry has to offer- that's exactly what I did!
Basically, these little delightful pastries were made of the leftover puff pastry from the gooseberry tart I made yesterday evening. It was a strip of around 8", not particularly big and not really enough to make another pie or anything like that. Also... yes... by Sunday I always manage to have one banana left over that is past its prime! So that was the starting point... but the story continues...
I cut the pastry into rectangles and then sliced the banana very thinly and laid it on top, leaving the edges free to puff up. That was all for the moment- into the oven they went for 10 minutes at 350°F to get started... whilst I got started on preparing the ingredients for the topping...
I ground a mixture of 3 parts sugar to 1 part sea salt, along with a some cinnamon in my mortar and pestle- that's going to make your taste-buds tingle! The little bit of salt is what makes this special- but as if that wasn't enough, I decided to add another couple of fun ingredients into the mix that I particularly like with banana- rosemary and red pepper corns!
I chopped the rosemary very finely- you don't need much! And I used the pepper corns sparingly too... a little goes a long way, but the combination is what matters!
After 10 minutes of baking, the pastry was just beginning to get going, but the banana was beginning to moisten up in the heat- and I took advantage of this sticky moisture by now adding the almonds and pressing them down onto the banana so that they became lightly moistened and sticky too. I sprinkled them with the seasoned sugar-salt mix and popped them back into the oven for a final 10 minutes... easy-peasy!
Once the pastries came out of the oven and had cooled off for a minute or two, I added the rosemary and peppercorns- not too soon or the heat of the pastries will make the rosemary turn black... and we want these things to be pretty, right? And the best thing is... they are pretty delicious as well! Hope you try them and hope you enjoy!