Friday, June 13, 2014

Bananas Foster

My guests are always impressed when I announce that I am serving Bananas Foster for dessert.  I don’t know if it’s the flambé, the delicious sweet sauce served over ice cream or the belief that they could not reproduce this at home that impresses them so much.  I mainly choose this dessert because it is so easy to make and I typically have all of the ingredients in the pantry.  Frankly, I would rather spend my time and creativity preparing specialty hors d’oeuvres, appetizers and whatever I’m serving as the entrée. 
To make it even easier, early in the day I measure out all of the ingredients and place the sugar, butter and cinnamon on a disposable plate and place the liquor and rum in small disposable cups which I set on the frying pan and store on a shelf in my pantry until I’m ready to make the dessert.  By using disposables, this becomes a ‘one pan dessert,’ for easy clean up.  After clearing the dinner dishes I retrieve the frying pan from the pantry and begin preparing the Bananas Foster.  At this point all I have to do is slice the bananas which I do while the butter is melting. Quick, easy and impressive….it doesn’t get better than that.

No matter how many bananas I buy, I always have one or two that are ripe and uneaten.  I peel and wrap the banana in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer.  Whenever I want to make Bananas Foster or bake banana bread, I simply remove it from the freezer and unwrap an unblemished banana with which to bake.

§     4 ripe bananas, peeled
§     4 tablespoons unsalted butter
§     1 cup packed light brown sugar
§     3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
§     1/4 cup banana liqueur
§     1/2 cup dark rum
§     1 pint good quality vanilla ice cream
Cut the bananas in half across and then lengthwise. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the brown sugar and cinnamon and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.
Add the bananas and turning, cook on both sides until the bananas start to soften and brown, about 3 minutes.
Add the banana liqueur and stir to blend into the caramel sauce. Carefully add the rum and shake the pan back and forth to warm the rum and flame the pan. (Or, off the heat, carefully ignite the pan with a match and return to the heat.)
Shake the pan back and forth, basting the bananas, until the flame dies. 
Divide the ice cream among 4 dessert plates. Gently lift the bananas from the pan and place 4 pieces on each scoop of ice cream. Spoon the sauce over the ice cream and bananas, and serve immediately.  For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, go to Bananas Foster. Enjoy!