Sunday, April 20, 2014
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Taste Metropolitan Bakery's '20 for 20' cookbook

Caramelized Banana Tart from the Metropolitan Bakery´s "20 for 20" cookbook.
Caramelized Banana Tart from the Metropolitan Bakery's "20 for 20" cookbook. KYLE BORN /
Caramelized Banana Tart from the Metropolitan Bakery´s "20 for 20" cookbook. Gallery: Taste Metropolitan Bakery's '20 for 20' cookbook

Wendy Smith Born and James Barrett have been at it for 20 years with Metropolitan Bakery.

With five retail outlets, an online and wholesale business, a new cafe and a nonprofit art gallery dedicated to emerging artists, they're also releasing a cookbook called "20 for 20" - as in 20 recipes for 20 years.

Compared with Metropolitan's last cookbook, "20 for 20" will have more ethnic foods, salads, soups and sandwiches, in addition to the sweet stuff.

It also includes the recipe for the best-selling top-crust pies sold in the new cafe near Rittenhouse Square. 

Metropolitan will have some printed copies available in early December for holiday shoppers, but the bulk of the "run" will be an e-edition in the spring.

Here's one taste of the book.

And if you're looking for their secrets of longevity in the business, check their blog.

Caramelized Banana Tart

Reprinted with permission from Metropolitan Bakery's "20 for 20" Cookbook," coming December 2013.

Yields 6 to 8 servings


12 tablespoons unsalted butter

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated. On low speed, add flour and salt and mix until fully incorporated. Scrape the pastry dough onto a sheet of plastic and wrap tightly. Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 vanilla bean

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 extra large egg

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/3 cup almonds, toasted and finely ground

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon malt powder

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

3 to 5 bananas

1 tablespoon lemon juice


Remove pastry from refrigerator to soften a bit. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking tray with parchment. Lightly spray a 14 inch by 2 1/2 inch rectangular tart frame and place it on the parchment-lined tray.

On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry to a 16 inch by 4 and a 1/2 inch rectangle, 1/8 inch thick. Fold the pastry into thirds and lift over the tart frame. Center the pastry and unfold over the length of the frame. Press the pastry into the sides and carefully press the pastry into the bottom corners of the frame. Cut away the excess pastry from the top edge with a small knife. Chill the pastry for 1 hour or overnight. Line the pastry shell with a piece of parchment paper and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Place the tray in a preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until the sides of the pastry are set. Remove from the oven and cool. Lift the parchment paper with the beans out of the pastry shell.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the vanilla bean over medium heat. Cook until the butter bubbles and turns dark golden brown, swirling the pan gently to cook evenly. Immediately pour the browned butter through a fine mesh strainer into a metal bowl leaving the vanilla bean in the strainer. Cool slightly and whisk in the cream, eggs, sugar, ground almonds, flour, malt powder, extract and salt. Spread the filling over the bottom of the prebaked tart shell and bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes until filling is just set. Remove tart from the oven and cool on a rack.

Preheat the broiler of an oven. Peel the bananas and slice crosswise into 1/8-inch coins. Arrange the slices over the tart in an overlapping pattern. Brush the banana slices lightly with lemon juice. Sprinkle the bananas evenly with 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Place the tart under the broiler and cook until the sugar caramelizes, turning the tart to facilitate even browning. Remove tart from the oven and cool on a rack. Lift the tart frame from the tart. The tart is best served immediately.


© 2013 Metropolitan Bakery


Michael Klein
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