Croustillants of Banana, Mango, and Mint
When Chef Eric Deblonde was in Kenya, West Africa, he was smitten with the flavor and fragrance of the fruit. This served as his inspiration for this simple but exotic and sensuous dessert. Brik (or briq) is a Tunisian pastry similar to phyllo, which may be substituted. Crisp, sweet mango "chips" are available at health food and specialty grocers.
- Ripe Bananas - 6
- Ripe Mango - 1, peeled, quartered
- Fresh mint leaves - 24
- Brik (thin Tunisian pastry dough) or frozen phyllo - 4 sheets, defrosted
- Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 1 , divided
- Juice from 4 oranges
- Sesame seeds - 2 tablespoons
- Black peppercorns - 1 tablespoon
- Vanilla or Coconut ice cream - 4 small scoops
- Banana Ice cream or mango sorbet - 4 small scoops
- Dried Mango - 8
- Mint sprigs - 8
Cut bananas in half lengthwise, then in half crosswise. You will have 24 banana pieces, 6 for each dessert. Peel mango and cut in quarters, cutting mango flesh free of seed. (For tips on peeling and cutting mangoes, refer to Cooking Basics.) Cut each quarter mango into 3 slices; halve each slice. You will have 24 mango pieces, 6 for each dessert.
In medium skillet caramelize 1/2 cup of the butter and the sugar over medium heat, tilting pan to prevent burning. When caramelized, coat banana quarters, 6 at one time, by placing in pan and turning once. As each batch of six banana quarters are coated with caramel, remove to a separate plate to cool.
When all banana halves have been caramelized, add orange juice, sesame seed and peppercorns to skillet with caramel. Cook over low, scraping pan to prevent burning. When sauce is thick and syrupy, strain through a sieve into a small saucepan and keep warm by setting pan in skillet of hot water.
Top each banana quarter with one mint leaf. Then top with one mango quarter slice. With a sharp knife, slice brik pastry or phyllo dough sheet into 1-inch strips. Keep unused dough covered with a clean damp towel to prevent drying. Wrap one pastry strip several times around each banana-mint-mango bundle.
Heat the remaining 1/2 cup of butter, little by little as needed, in a medium skillet, until butter foams. Quickly fry six banana-mint-mango bundles in butter until crisp, turning once.
To serve: Plate 6 bundles each on four individual pastry plates. Drizzle around edges of banana bundles with reserved caramel-orange sauce. Top each plate with two small scoops of ice cream, one vanilla or coconut, and one banana or mango sorbet. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig.