Several decades after the Civil War, New Orleans became a major center for banana imports from Central and South America.
In 1951, the younger brother of New Orleans restaurateur Owen Brennan was running a produce company that had a surplus of bananas. Owen asked his chef Paul Blangé and sister, Ella, to come up with a new dessert using bananas to name after his friend Richard Foster, the chairman of the New Orleans Crime Commission. What they came up with is now the world-renowned Bananas Foster.
Every year 35,000 pounds of bananas are sautéed in South American rum in preparation of the restaurant's signature dessert. The dramatic, flambéed result is now the most-ordered item on Brennan's menu.
- Recipe index: "Sunday Morning"'s 2015 "Food Issue" - Delicious menu suggestions from top chefs and the editors of Bon Appetit magazine
Brennan's Bananas Foster
¼ cup Unsalted butter
1 cup Brown sugar
½ teaspoon Cinnamon, ground
¼ cup Dark rum
¼ cup Banana liqueur
4 each Bananas, cut in half lengthwise, then halved
4 scoops Vanilla ice cream
Combine butter, sugar and cinnamon in a large sauté pan. Place pan over low heat and cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Stir in banana liqueur, then place bananas in pan. When bananas soften and begin to brown, carefully add rum.
Continue to cook sauce until rum is hot, then tip pan slightly to ignite rum.
When flames subside, lift bananas out of pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice cream. Generously spoon warm sauce over ice cream and serve immediately.
For more info:
- Brennan's, New Orleans