Photograph by Grant Cornett Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Theo Vamvounakis

Bananas Foster

Desserts from Issue 6 – Fall / Winter 2015 – Magic

The element of fire can be as dynamic as it is destructive. So clear has the distinction always been that the ancient Greeks even had two different words for it: aidelon for the catastrophic kind associated with Hades, and aides for the creative kind associated with Hephaestus. In the case of the classic New Orleans-born dessert Bananas Foster, fire is definitely used for good. Very, very good.

serves 4

  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 ripe, firm bananas, halved lengthwise and crosswise
  • ¼ cup light or gold rum

  • 1

    Melt the butter and sugar in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth and bubbling. Stir in vanilla bean seeds and lemon juice. Add the bananas, cut side down, in a single layer. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook two minutes. Flip the bananas and cook for another minute.

  • 2

    Remove from heat and pour in the rum. Return to the burner and carefully ignite with a long wooden match or tip the pan slightly to catch the flame from a burner. Have a lid handy if the flames get too high or out of control. Cook until the flames die out. Serve immediately with plenty of sauce and a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.