Sometimes life calls for the classics to be revisited. My father loved flambéed bananas. As a kid, I remember watching in awe as he set ablaze the pan of caramelizing fruit. It wasn’t just dessert, it was a show.
The fancy dish was invented in the 1950’s by a chef at a famous New Orleans restaurant who prepared it for his friend Richard Foster. It became an instant hit, combining buttery warm sweetness with cold vanilla ice cream in a pairing perfect for any occasion. The sweetness of the banana is played up in a sauce of butter, sugar, spices and alcohol of your choice (usually rum) and served alongside a large scoop of cool, creamy ice cream. Although it began traditionally served table-side at fine dining restaurants the dessert quickly spread to the masses. This version comes very close to my father’s and is definitely accessible to any table.
2 under-ripe bananas
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup dark rum
Vanilla ice cream
Preheat your grill to 350º F. Peel bananas and slice in half lengthwise then cut in half.
Add butter, spices and sugar to the pot and stir until sugar has dissolved. Place bananas on the grill, flat side down, and cook for 2-3 minutes, spooning the hot sauce over the bananas as they cook. Remove bananas and set aside.
Add rum to the pan and stir. Using a lighter, light the mixture to flambé it. Allow to cook for a few more minutes until the mixture begins to thicken.
Spoon over bananas and serve with vanilla ice cream.
Over to You
What’s your version of bananas foster? Share and inspire us!