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Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011 07:32 pm

Bananas Foster

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This luscious flamed dessert from New Orleans is about as far from down-home Cajun as you can get and still be in Louisiana. In fact, it’s become such a staple in restaurants that offer tableside preparation that its connection to the Crescent City is often forgotten. But it was invented more than 60 years ago at Brennan’s, a New Orleans landmark, for a regular patron, Richard Foster. Though a restaurant creation, it’s easily made at home, and always a crowd pleaser if you have guests.

  • 3 large firm but ripe bananas, sliced on a slight diagonal
  • 1/2 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c. dark rum
  • 1/4 c. orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier, Cointreau, or Triple Sec
  • 1 1/2 pints vanilla ice cream

If possible, scoop the ice cream into 6 balls, put on a tray, and freeze for at least an hour before serving. That way, they won’t melt as quickly when the warm sauce is put over them.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and stir until a smooth syrup forms.

Add the rum and orange liqueur and ignite. If you have a gas stove or burner, all you need to do is gently tip the skillet until it catches on fire.

When the flames have died down, stir the mixture well, then add the bananas and stir until they are softened and slightly caramelized, but not mushy. Spoon over the scoops of ice cream in individual dishes and serve immediately. Serves 6.

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