New Orleans has been importing bananas and rum for ages, so it's no surprise that John Besh features this dessert in his new cookbook—and it may arguably be the best version we've ever had. If the ingredients alone aren't convincing enough to indulge in, then setting the booze on fire always grabs attention. Besh suggests this flambé step is optional, but that serving the dessert with vanilla ice cream is not. We happily agree.
To learn more, read "Best of the Besh."
Recipe adapted from "Besh Big Easy: 101 Home Cooked New Orleans Recipes," by John Besh (Andrews McMeel Publishing)
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg
6 bananas, peeled and halved lengthwise, then crosswise
½ cup dark rum
1 quart vanilla ice cream, to serve
1. In a large skillet, heat the butter and brown sugar over high heat, stirring often, until they have melted into a caramel, 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium high and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely melted and the butter starts to smell nutty, 3 minutes.
2. Stir in the orange juice, cinnamon and nutmeg, then add the bananas. Continue to cook, gently stirring the bananas and spooning sauce over them to coat, 3 minutes more.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and, holding the skillet away from you, carefully add the rum. Using a kitchen torch or match, carefully light the rum mixture on fire, burning off the alcohol.
4. Serve immediately in individual bowls, spooning the sauce over the bananas, and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.