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Banana, Butter and Meringue Tart

ingredients

serves 6 - 8
225 g (8 oz) rich sweet shortcrust pastry

for the filling:

6 firm bananas
55 g (2 oz) butter
55 g (2 oz) light soft brown sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1 egg, plus 3 egg yolks
55 g (2 oz) caster sugar
225 ml (8 fl oz) double cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

for the meringue topping:

3 egg whites
115 g (4 oz) caster sugar

method

1. Line a deep 23cm (9 in) tart tin with the pastry and pre-bake or bake blind. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.

2. Peel and cut the bananas in half and then slice in half lengthwise. Melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the banana slices for 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Cover with the soft brown sugar and lemon juice and put the lid on the pan. Cook very gently for 1 minute to melt the sugar, then remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

3. Whisk the egg, egg yolks and caster sugar together in a bowl. Set aside.
Put the cream and vanilla essence in a pan and heat gently until almost boiling. Add the cream to the egg and sugar mixture and stir together.

4. Place the buttery bananas with their sweet brown juices in the base of the pre-baked pastry case, then pour the cream and egg mixture over the bananas. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

5. Towards the end of this cooking time, make the meringue topping. Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until they reach the soft peak stage and whisk in half the caster sugar in 2 or 3 batches. Fold in the remaining sugar using a metal spoon.

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