Totally from scratch these banana cream tart bars are the perfect dessert for something light and simple plus lovely for parties.
When I was growing up our house wasn’t like most houses. My older sister was off to college before I could even ride a bike and my next oldest sister wasn’t far behind her. Then there was my little brother and sister that were born closer together but still a few years behind me so I was your typical middle child in every sense because my parents had such old and young kids at once. These banana cream tart bars brought back a fond memory for me, one that used to be awful but time heals those things.
My parents, and hopefully they don’t mind me saying this, but they struggled with infertility. Both getting pregnant and staying pregnant. Mom felt strongly after my second sister that there was one more but after a gazillion doctor visits was told there just was no chance. And then they got pregnant with me. One last round of fertility even though the doctor didn’t think anything would come of it. Obviously I’m eternally grateful.
And then two more came. Total surprises for someone who had no chance of getting pregnant. Well fast forward a few years and my sister just above me, Jennifer and I went out on a sister date. I don’t remember what we did but I do remember stopping for pie at a local place around town and suddenly realizing we didn’t have enough money and they wouldn’t take a check. We were panicked!
Finally we had to use a phone and call my mom to come and rescue us. What a hassle that must have been for her but I don’t remember a single complaint. How that woman was so patient with 5 children I don’t know, but these banana cream tart bars make me think of that banana cream pie we almost had to work off in the kitchen of Shari’s restaurant.
Banana Cream Tart Bars
- 2½ Cups Flour
- 1⅓ Cup Powdered Sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Cup Cold, unsalted Butter, cut in small cubes
- 2 Large Egg Yolks
- 2 Tablespoons Buttermilk
- ¾ Teaspoon Vanilla
- 2 Bananas, about 1 cup
- 1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
- 4 *8 ounce packages Cream Cheese, softened
- ⅔ Cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 4 Cups Whipped Cream or cool whip (see note)
- 2 Bananas for the bottom
- Additional whipped cream for serving.
- In a small bowl, using a fork whisk together the buttermilk, yolks, and vanilla. Set aside.
- In a food processor, add the flour, powdered sugar, and salt and pulse to combine.
- Scatter the butter around the food processor bowl and then pulse to create little pea sized balls in the flour mixture. Get your egg mixture and turn the processor on while pour in the wet ingredients. Once the dough begins to come together remove from the food processor onto saran wrap and press into a disc, a few flour crumbs should be visible but just press them into the dough and wrap tightly in the saran wrap. Place in the fridge for 1 hour or the freezer for 15-20 minutes. You can also store it in the fridge an entire day ahead of time, but all it to sit out for a few minutes before trying to work with the cold dough.
- Line a 9x13” pan with parchment and press the dough out evenly on the bottom. Wrap in saran wrap again and freeze for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Poke the tart all over with a fork and bake for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In a glass measuring cup, smash the bananas into a smooth puree and add the lemon juice.
- In a bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Beat in the banana mixture. Fold in the whipped cream. Slice the remaining bananas and lay on the bottom of the cooled tart crust. Top with filling and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve with additional whipped cream.