Serves 4
This is thought to be the Bananas Foster recipe from the original source and creator of this dessert: Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans. Created in 1951, the dessert was purportedly named for Richard Foster, who served with Brennan’s founder Owen Brennan on the New Orleans Crime Commission. Richard Foster was a frequent customer of Brennan’s and a very good friend of Owen.
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup banana liqueur
4 bananas, cut in half lengthwise, then halved
1/4 cup dark rum
4 scoops vanilla ice cream

Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambé pan or skillet. Place the pan over low heat either on an alcohol burner or on top of the stove, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan. When the banana sections soften and begin to brown, carefully add the rum. Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum. When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice cream. Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream and serve immediately.


Serves 4
1/4 cup small tapioca pearls (about 1⁄8″ in diameter)
1 pound firm-ripe bananas, peeled and cut crosswise into 3⁄4″-thick slices
1 cup coconut milk
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄8 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped unsalted roasted peanuts, for garnish (optional)
Bring 2 1⁄2 cups of water to a boil over high heat in a 2-qt. saucepan. Stir in the tapioca pearls and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pearls are translucent, and the liquid has thickened, about 12 minutes. To check tapioca pearls for doneness, look for a tiny white dot in the center of the pearl; if you don’t see one, continue to cook.
Add bananas, coconut milk, sugar, and salt and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until the bananas are just soft and the flavors have melded, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from the heat, stir in the vanilla, and let soup cool for 10 minutes. Ladle soup into small bowls and top with peanuts, if you like.



Makes 1 loaf

Of all the banana breads I’ve tried, I think this is my favorite. You can bake it in a traditional 9 x 5-inch bread pan but visually it’s better in a medium 8-1/2 inch x 4-1/2 inch pan which is typically used for quick breads.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled plus more for the pan
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts or macadamias
3/4 cup sugar, preferably organic
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups (about 3) mashed very ripe bananas
1/3 cup plain full fat yogurt or crème fraiche
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan and then toss a little flour in the pan and tilt it to coat all the butter-slicked sides with a fine dusting of flour. Dump out the flour, tapping the pan to remove any excess.

Place the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Slide it into the preheated oven, and toast until fragrant, 5 minutes or so. Immediately transfer the walnuts to a separate plate and cool.

In a large bowl, combine the 2 cups flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and walnuts.

In a medium bowl stir the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, 6 tablespoons melted butter, vanilla and nutmeg together with a wooden spoon. Fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula, mixing just until combined. The batter should be thick and a bit chunky. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top.

Bake the bread until the surface is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 5 – 10 minutes. Carefully tip the pan over to release the loaf onto the wire rack.

You can slice and serve it warm with good butter or cream cheese or let it cool. The bread stores well. Wrap with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. It will have a crisp crust when consumed straight from the oven and a soft crust later that day or the next day. Bread freezes well.


Serves 4

This is a delicious and low calorie/low-fat dessert coming in at under 225 calories per serving including the sauce.

2 very ripe medium bananas, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Poire Williams
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs, separated, at room temperature
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar

Garnish: Fresh raspberry puree which has been strained of seeds

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray four 1 1/2 cup souffle dishes with nonstick cooking spray.

In a food processor, puree the bananas with the lemon juice, Poire Williams and vanilla until smooth. Add the egg yolks and 1 teaspoon of the sugar; process to blend thoroughly. Scrape the banana base into a medium bowl.

In a mixer bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar at high speed until stiff peaks form. With the mixer on, sprinkle on the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and continue beating until the whites are glossy. Fold the egg whites into the banana base.

Spoon into the prepared dishes; the mixture will mount to the top. Run your thumb around the inside rims to form a 1/4-inch groove in the mixture; this will help the souffles rise evenly.

Set the dishes on a baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to 425 degrees and bake for 7 minutes longer, or until puffed and browned. Spoon a little raspberry sauce on top and serve immediately.

John Ash © 2022