What is Bananas Foster?
Bananas Foster is a dessert made from bananas and vanilla ice cream, with a sauce made from butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dark rum, and banana liqueur. The butter, sugar and bananas are cooked, and then alcohol is added and ignited. The bananas and sauce are then served over the ice cream. Popular toppings also include whipped cream and different types of nuts (pecans, walnuts, etc.) Preparation of the dish is often made into a tableside performance as a flambé.
Chef John Turenne at Yale notes that this bananas foster recipe, a hit in every class, was created at New Orleans's Brennan's Restaurant in the 1950s. For best results, be sure to use firm, ripe bananas.
Brennan's Bananas Foster Recipe
- Hands-On Time: 10 Mins
- Total Time: 10 Mins
- Yield: 4-6 servings
- 4 medium-size ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- Dash of ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup banana liqueur
- 1/2 cup rum Vanilla ice cream
How to Make Bananas Foster
- Cut bananas in half crosswise, then lengthwise. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add brown sugar, and cook, stirring constantly 2 minutes. Add bananas to skillet, and sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Remove skillet from heat. Stir in liqueur and rum, and carefully ignite the fumes just above mixture with a long match. Let flames die down. Return to heat, and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until soft. Serve over ice cream.
Bananas were not introduced to North America until sometime after the Civil War. Some decades later, when widespread consumption took hold, New Orleans became a major center for banana imports from Central and South America.
1 Ounce Butter
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
1 1/2 Ounces Banana Liqueur
1 1/2 Ounces Aged Rum
1/2 Banana Per Person
- Combine butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambe pan.
- As the butter melts under medium heat, add the banana liquor and stir to combine.
- As the sauce starts to cook, peel and add the bananas to the pan.
- Cook the bananas until they begin to soften (about 1-2 minutes)
- Tilt back the pan to slightly heat the far edge. Once hot carefully add the rum, and tilt the pan toward the flame, to ignite the rum.
- Stir the sauce to ensure that all of the alcohol cooks out.
- Serve cooked bananas over ice cream and top with the sauce in the pan.