A Bit of History
Bananas Foster is a dessert made from bananas and vanilla ice cream. It is served with sauce made from butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, rum and banana liqueur. The butter, sugar and bananas are cooked, and then alcohol is added and lighted on fire to reduce the alcohol. The bananas are then served with vanilla ice cream.
I was surprised to learn that this dessert came from New Orleans and is kind of recent. In the early 1950s, New Orleans was the major port of entry for bananas shipped from Central and South America. Owen Brennan, owner of Brennan’s Restaurant, challenged his chef, Paul Blange, to include bananas in a new dessert. It was Owen’s way of promoting the imported fruit.
Thus, the decadent bananas foster was born. It was named after Owen’s friend, Richard Foster, a local civic and business leader.
To make this dessert, I used plantain bananas. Why? Because I love plantains growing up in the Philippines. We used it in all kinds of dessert from ‘turon’ (deep-fried plantains rolled in egg-roll wrappers) to ‘minatamis na saging’ (banana plantains in syrup). I also thought the sturdier plantains will hold more of its shape than the regular bananas. I was right.
In place of the dark rum and banana liqueur, I used what I had on hand which are the following:
Cinnamon flavored whiskey (30% alcohol by volume)
Buttershots butterscotch schnapps (15% alcohol by volume)
Take note that these flavored alcohol drinks complemented the taste of the bananas foster but I did not get a good flambe out of it. I read that you need at least 40% alcohol to get a ‘fire’ going and it is better if you warm the alcohol before adding it to the dish or dessert and lighting it up.
Easy Bananas Foster Recipe Using Plantains
Bananas Foster is a decadent dessert made from cooking bananas with brown sugar, cinnamon, butter and a bit of rum. It is served with vanilla ice cream.
- 4 pcs ripe plantain bananas - note 1
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp butter or coconut oil - note 2
- 1/4 cup dark rum - note 3
- 1/4 cup banana liqueur or butterscotch schnapps
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 gallon plain vanilla ice cream
Peel the bananas and cut them in half lengthwise and then half crosswise.
Put the butter or coconut oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a pan over medium high heat.
Stir to dissolve the brown sugar
When it begins to bubble, add bananas in a single layer
Cook for about 1-2 minutes and flip over. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Make sure the bananas are tender. Remove from heat.
Combine the rum and vanilla extract in a small bowl and pour into the pan.
Light the alcohol on top using a long match or long lighter and watch the alcohol burn.
Spoon some bananas into a bowl, top with two scoops vanilla ice cream and some syrup.
Note 1: If plantains are not ripe, store them inside a brown paper bag for a few days in the pantry. if plantains are not available, use regular bananas but remember that it cooks more quickly than plantain Note 2: if coconut oil is not available, you can use butter. Note 3: Use alcohol that is at least 40% alcohol by volume. I used less and it barely ignited for me
Plantain bananas being cooked in coconut oil and brown sugar and cinnamon.
How to Serve
I hope you like this dessert. It is very easy to make and the taste satisfies my craving for ‘turon’ without the need for deep frying. And of course we get to eat it with vanilla ice cream which makes it 50 times better.
Kain Na (Let’s Eat!)