Banana foster is a classic and elegant dessert made of flambéing bananas with butter,brown sugar, banana liqueur, and dark rum and served with vanilla ice cream. It is prepared at tableside at restaurants around the world. It was created by chef Paul Blangé at Brennan restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1951 and named after Richard Foster, a frequent customer and a very good friend of the owner.
I was introduced to this famous dessert at a silent auction for local charities while I was working for Sonny a while back. Here came the chef with a magic light. Banana and caramel sauce had never tasted good like this before. Omit alcohol if making this for kids. Cook down for alcohol evaporated if you do not like flaming. Check out how to do set bananas on fire safely in Americastestkitchen.
This recipe is based on America test kitchen. It does not have banana liqueur and use less sugar and butter.
Dim light to see the fire better.
Make 2 servings
2 ripe banana, peeled and quartered or cut into 1/2 inch thick bias slices.
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs rum (white or dark)
2 large scoops vanilla ice cream
- Peel bananas, cut each in half across, then lengthwise.
- Melt butter in a large (12inch) heatproof skillet or flambé pan over medium low heat. If the heat is too high butter and sugar will separate and take more time to form a smooth sauce. Stir in sugar, until sugar dissolves and mixture becomes thick and smooth about 2 minutes. Add bananas, spoon some sauce over bananas. Cook both sides until banana is tender but not mushy about 1.5 minutes each side. Remove from heat, carefully add rum. Return the pan to the heat, wait about 5 seconds for the rum warm up slightly, ignite rum with a long handle lighter or tilt the pan on gas stove for the rum caught the fire. Shake back and forth to baste the bananas or use a long handle spoon to baste the banana with the warm liquid until the flame subside. Gently lift the bananas out of the pan, 4 pieces over 1 scoop of ice cream. Spoon the sauce over bananas and ice cream and serve immediately.
- Extra sauce can be warm up and serve with french toast like banana foster bread pudding. or french toast.
- The original recipe contains banana liqueur but America test kitchen does not.
- Banana flambe is similar to banana foster but might contain orange and or lemon juice, different liqueur. The bananas and ice cream amount can be increased or decreased to suit yours.
- Bananas can be cut into thick 1/2 inch bias slices.
- A pinch of cinnamon can be added to the fire to make it sparkled for a dramatic effect.
- Dark rum is more flavorful. I used Myer ‘s dark rum but Barcadi 151 is preferred by chefs because of higher alcohol percentage for more flambeing effect.
Custard Vanilla Ice cream
This recipes is based on David Lebovitz’s and Melissa Clark’s. Two kinds of vanilla here is not a mistake but they help to boost the vanilla flavor.
Make 1 quart
2 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 pinch of salt or 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
6 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise, scrape the seeds
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Combine heavy cream, milk, and sugar in a medium sauce pan. Scrape the seeds out of vanilla bean and add both seeds and bean to the mixture. Bring it to a gentle boil, stir often over medium high heat. Remove from heat, cover and let it steep at room temperature 30 minutes.
- Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl until thicken and light in color. Whisk constantly and slowly add warm milk mixture into egg yolks. Pour the mixture back to the saucepan.
- Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula.
- Scrape the bottom often until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of spatula about 170 oF to 185 oF. Pour the custard through a fine sieve to a bowl. Add vanilla extract and vanilla bean back to the custard. Let the mixture cool down at room temperature or stir to cool over an ice bath. Cover and chill the mixture overnight in the fridge.
- Remove the vanilla bean before churning, wash and save for other use. Churn and freeze as manufacturer’s instruction of your ice cream machine. Transfer the ice cream to an air tight container and freeze over night before serving.