A combination of lush, fun, fancy-looking, super simple, and delicious is hard to beat. Bananas Foster fits that combination exactly! It was invented in 1951 by Chef Paul of Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans, and named for the chef’s good friend, Richard Foster. It’s so simple that variations abound, but this is my favorite way to do it, and is one of the most basic.
Originally (and frequently) served over vanilla ice cream, it’s also fantastic with crepes, waffles, or toasted slices of pound cake.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 3 min
Cook time: 6-8 min
1/4 c. butter
1/2-3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg (opt.)
1/4 t. ground allspice (opt.)
4 bananas, halved lengthwise, then crosswise (becoming 4 pieces each)
1/4 c. dark rum
Combine butter, sugar, and spices in a 10-12 inch skillet over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves.
Place bananas in a single layer and cook for 1 min. each side, spooning the sauce over them.
Carefully add the rum. When hot again, flame the rum if it hasn’t lit itself already. Shake the pan to keep the rum lit as long as possible.
Cook an additional minute or two, just until the bananas begin to soften and brown, and the sauce thickens slightly.
Place bananas on whatever they are destined to top, pour the sauce over them, and serve immediately.
Certain versions (including Brennan’s original) include a little banana liqueur, added with the bananas. If you’d like to do that, use 2-4 T. to boost the banana flavor.