Bananas Foster

Bananas Foster

In 1951, when the famed Brennan restaurant operation consisted only of Brennan’s Vieux Carre on Bourbon Street, Owen Brennan asked his sister Ella and his head chef to come up with a new dessert for a dinner that night honoring Richard Foster and his recent appointment as chairman of the New Orleans Crime Commission. With New Orleans acting as the major port of entry for bananas shipped from Central and South America in the 1950s, it was only natural that they gravitated toward a banana-forward dessert. Sliced bananas were sautéed with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon and then flambéed with rum and banana liqueur tableside, all served alongside a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream. In our take, we kept it classic, but added pecans for a toasted nutty crunch to accompany the rich, warmly spiced notes of caramel and fresh fruit.

Bananas Foster
Makes 2 to 4 servings
  • ¾ cup (165 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, cubed
  • ¾ teaspoon (3 grams) vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground cinnamon
  • 2 large firm ripe bananas (240 grams), halved lengthwise and crosswise
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) spiced rum
  • ¼ cup (28 grams) chopped pecans, lightly toasted
  • Vanilla ice cream, to serve
  1. In a large skillet, stir together brown sugar, butter, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon; cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until butter is melted and mixture is bubbly. Add bananas, cut side down; reduce heat to medium, and cook until bananas are lightly golden, 1½ to 2 minutes per side. Remove from heat; add rum to pan. Using a stick lighter or candle lighter, carefully light sauce. (See Note.) Stir and spoon flaming sauce over bananas until flame is extinguished. Sprinkle with pecans, and serve with vanilla ice cream.
Note: If you don’t feel comfortable enough to flambé your bananas, add rum to pan and continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes.


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