We’ve always loved Latin American cuisine, so when we received a copy of the new Andina: The Heart of Peruvian Food by Martin Morales, we couldn’t wait to try some of the recipes. Not only is the book itself a work of art, but it contains over 100 authentic Peruvian recipes that are easy enough to make at home.
This Oxapampa Tart was one of the desserts that really stood out to us as we worked our way through the book. According to Morales, “Thanks to migration from Austria and Germany to the Pasco region in the Andes many decades ago, Peruvians are lucky enough to have this sticky and dramatic dessert. Here, we’ve made it using plantain, but you can use any kind of banana. Serve it with single cream or ice cream.”
Oxapampa Tart (Shtrukala de Oxapampa)
- 15 g panela, palm sugar, jiggery or light soft brown sugar
- ¼ limo chilli or 1 medium-heat red chilli, deseeded and chopped
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- 3 black peppercorns
- 35 g white quinoa flour
- 50 g gram flour
- 150 g gluten-free flour
- 125 g butter, softened
- 50 g icing sugar
- 25 g muscovado sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 15 g butter
- 2 small or 1 large, ripe plantain, peeled and diced
- 1 medium–large banana, peeled and mashed
- 75 g mascarpone
- 2 eggs
- 1 small green plantain, peeled and cut in half
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 star anise
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 150 g caster sugar
- 50 g butter
- 100 ml chancaca syrup
- Put all the ingredients into a small saucepan with 10ml of water over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer very gently until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid has reduced to a syrupy consistency (about 10 minutes). Remove from the heat and strain the liquid into a bowl.
- Mix all the flours together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until soft and mousse-like. Add 1 egg yolk to the creamed butter and sugar, then a spoonful of flour mixture and stir to incorporate. Repeat for the remaining egg yolks, alternating with a spoonful of flour each time. Add the remaining flour, stir to combine and form into a soft ball. Wrap in clingfilm and chill until needed.
- Melt the butter in a small frying pan over a low heat. Add the plantain and fry, stirring, for 4–5 minutes until the plantain dice are lightly golden brown. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Transfer to a food processor or blender, add the banana and blitz to a purée. Add the mascarpone and eggs and blitz again to a smooth, pourable mixture. Set aside.
- Put the plantain halves in a saucepan and cover with water. Put over a high heat. Add the cinnamon and star anise and bring to the boil. Add the bicarbonate of soda, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until al dente. Drain and slice the plantain into 1cm-thick rings. Set aside.
- Melt the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat, shaking it so that it covers the base evenly and resisting the urge to stir. When the melted sugar has turned a light golden brown (about 6–7 minutes), reduce the heat, then add the butter. Whisk to a smooth sauce, then add the chancaca syrup. Whisk again to a rich caramel. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (gas mark 3). Take a 23cm diameter nonstick ovenproof skillet or shallow nonstick tin. Pour in the butterscotch, then top with the plantain slices and cover with the filling. Roll out the pastry, placing it on top of the filling to cover and tucking the edges down. Cut a couple of slits in the dough.
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Leave to rest for 1 minute, then turn out the tart onto a plate and serve in slices.
Excerpt and photo printed with permission from Andina: The Heart of Peruvian Food by Martin Morales, photo by David Loftus, published by Quadrille November 2017.