Bananas Foster

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My husband asked me to make Bananas Foster for his birthday recently, and how could I argue! Neither of us is much of a sweets eater, or we like to pretend we’re not, but with Bananas Foster, you make it to order and there are no leftovers! Unlike a cake or pie…

The recipe I’ve always used for Bananas Foster, is from the cookbook, American Cooking: Creole and Acadian.


From the book: This elegant dessert of flamed bananas and ice cream, created at Brennan’s over 20 years ago (this book was published in 1971!) for a regular patron named Richard Foster, has become one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes.

Bananas Foster
Adapted
To serve 4
printable recipe below

4 ounces unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 firm ripe bananas, peeled and cut lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup banana liqueur
1/2 cup rum or spiced rum
1 pint good vanilla ice cream

Slice the bananas horizontally so they lay flat.

Combine the butter and brown sugar in a skillet and stir until the mixture becomes a smooth syrup.

Add the bananas and baste them with the syrup for 3 or 4 minutes, then sprinkle in the cinnamon.

Carefully pour in the banana liqueur and rum, and let the liquors warm for a few seconds. They may burst into flame spontaneously. If not, ignite them with a match.


Slide the pan back and forth until the flames die, basting the bananas all the while.

Place two banana halves in each elongated dish. Add a scoop of ice cream to each serving, then spoon the sauce over the top.

Serve at once.

And don’t forget some freshly grated nutmeg.

If you don’t have elongated individual serving dishes, slice the bananas evenly before sautéing, or at least cut them in half crosswise. Then serve in a shallow bowl.

Bananas Foster can also be prepared at the table in a flambé pan, such as a crepes Suzette pan.


Note: The original recipe calls for twice the amount of both rum and banana liqueur. If you enjoy alcoholic desserts, double your liquors!

 

Fosterred Banana Ice Cream

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My husband loves bananas. When I made Bananas Foster for him a few months ago, I had an idea. I wanted to turn bananas Foster into ice cream.

Consider this ice cream recipe a constructed version of the de-constructed dessert known as bananas foster. It’s not a huge stretch, but I can guarantee that if you love bananas Foster, you’ll love this ice cream.

Bananas Foster is composed of ice cream, bananas sautéed in a butter and brown sugar sauce, topped off with rum. I wanted to use all of the components for my ice cream creation, but I had to omit the butter. As soon as the hot butter hit the cold ingredients, it would become waxy and unpleasant. So instead, I substituted vanilla.

Because of the dark brown color of the rum and the brown sugar, I considered making this ice cream more of a swirl, but then, I decided to go for broke and just do it. And the resulting color is just fine.

So here’s my recipe, and I can seriously guarantee that it’s a treat. Mr. Foster would be proud.

Fostered Banana Ice Cream

Banana Mixture:

3 medium bananas, just ripe
1/3 cup spiced rum
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons good cinnamon
Juice of 1 small lemon

Ice Cream Custard:

3 cups heavy cream
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
1 vanilla bean
1 cinnamon stick
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup brown sugar*
Pinch of salt

The day before, or at least 4 hours before you’re planning on actually making the ice cream, make the banana mixture by placing all of the ingredients together in a blender and blending until smooth. Place the mixture in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate.

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To make the ice cream custard, place the cream and 1/2 and 1/2 in a medium saucepan on the stove over low heat. Cut the vanilla bean into quarters, split them open vertically, and remove the seeds with the tip of a knife.
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Place the beans and seeds in the cream mixture, and also add the cinnamon stick.

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Let the mixture warm slowly, and then steep for about 30 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and the vanilla beans, squeezing the beans to remove as many residual seeds as possible, and place them in the cream.

Place the 6 egg yolks in a small bowl and whisk them until smooth.
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Have a whisk and a spoon available, the brown sugar and salt, and place a very large bowl in the sink that contains ice cubes.

Increase the heat under the cream to medium. You are making a custard, to enrich the ice cream, and this is a very easy process, but one that takes time and a little patience. It’s better to go slowly and not risk the mixture coming to a boil, than have it boil prematurely and ruin your custard.

First, add the brown sugar and salt to the cream and whisk until it’s dissolved.

So to make the custard, you need to gradually add the eggs to the hot cream mixture. Alternatively, you might have seen in a recipe to add hot cream to eggs, but this is exactly the same thing.

I simply use my whisk to grab a little bit of eggs and then immediately whisk them into the cream. Whisk completely, and then continue adding a little bit of eggs. If you prefer, a spoon can be used to add egg to cream, and also cream to egg, but the stirring part is essential. If you’ve ever made an egg drop soup, you know that when eggs hit hot liquid they will cook, and this is not what you want for a smooth, non-mealy custard.

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To test the thickness and doneness of the custard, stick a clean spoon into the custard. The custard on the spoon in this photo shows that the custard is still thin and not ready.

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The test of doneness is when the custard sticks to the spoon, coating it instead of running back into the saucepan.

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Once the test is positive with the spoon, like in the above photo, immediately place the saucepan in the ice bowl and whisk for about a minute. Every couple of minutes, whisk thoroughly. Continue this until the custard has cooled completely.

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Set up your electric ice cream maker. If you have a crank variety, I’m sorry. I used to have one and dealing with the ice and the labor of it all is so tedious. Please upgrade to an electric appliance. It’s very easy. There’s a plug, and an “ON” button.

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The only important things to remember are to freeze the components, primarily the ice cream barrel, for at least 12 hours before hand. And the ice cream ingredients must be very cold as well.

Add about 2 cups of the banana mixture to the cream custard and combine.
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Then pour the mixture into the barrel of the ice cream maker, but only about 7/8 full.

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Turn it on, and make sure the lid is on properly. Otherwise it won’t work. (I’ve done this before!)

Stop when you obviously have ice cream. Instead of the mixture appearing like a milk shake consistency, like in this photo,

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it will become ice cream consistency, and fold over itself because of its increased viscosity. It will have also increased in volume, like in this photo.

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Remove the barrel and put it in the freezer. The rum in the ice cream will keep the ice cream from freezing hard, but you can test the hardness before you want to serve it, and just place it in the refrigerator or on your kitchen counter to warm it slightly in advance, if necessary.

Serve the ice cream with a little of the leftover banana mixture, and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon, if desired. Enjoy!

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* I didn’t care if some of the brown sugar was in little chunks. I thought that would add an interesting texture to the ice cream!

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