According to owner Danny Meyer, this tart is far and away the most popular dessert at the famed Union Square Cafe in New York


  • Crust:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Banana Topping:
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. light corn syrup
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 large ripe bananas, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 cup (about 5 oz.) chopped Macadamia nuts, lightly toasted
  • Vanilla Ice Cream, optional


To make the crust:
Beat the butter and the sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Beat in the egg yolk, vanilla, and salt and blend well. Add the flour and beat until moist clumps begin to form. Press the dough with your hands onto the bottom of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Pierce with a fork in a few places, abour 2 inches apart. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 450*F. Bake the crust until golden, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

To make the topping:
Place a large baking pan filled halfway with cold water and a few ice cubes next to the stove. Combine 1/2 cup of the sugar, the corn syrup, and 1 Tbs. of the melted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves and it comes to a boil. Boil the mixture without stirring but swirling the pan occasionally so that it browns evenly, until it turns a medium amber color, about 7 minutes. Place the pan in the ice water to prevent further cooking and cool it to lukewarm. Preheat the oven to 375*F. Arrange the banana slices, overlapping them slightly, in a concentric circle beginning at the crust edge and working your way in so that the crust is completely covered. Brush the remaining Tbs. of butter over the bananas and sprinkle with the remaining Tbs. of sugar. Bake until the tart is just warmed through, about 3 to 5 minutes. Rewarm the caramel topping over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove the tart from the oven. Dip a spoon into the caramel and drizzle back and forth in squiggly lines over the bananas. Remove the pan bottom and place the tart on a platter or a large plate. Scatter the nuts over the top, slice and serve warm with vanilla ice cream, if desired

Makes: 6 servings

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Submitted 6/13/05.
Source: Go Bananas Cook Book
Submitted By: Eileen Werth
Caramel Banana Tart- Union Square Cafe