Baked Bananas with Rum Sauce

February 24, 2008
Aruba
Aruba (Image: Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa)

I feel guilty.  Who am I to deny Harry and Sam a simple, straightforward honeymoon in a tropical paradise?  So today I’m sending them to Aruba, and I’ve invented a new recipe for them so they can enjoy a typical Aruba treat (baked bananas) made extra celebratory with a wonderfully-Caribbean rum sauce to go on top.  Enjoy! – Almostgotit 

Baked Bananas with brown sugar rum sauce

6 firm, but ripe bananas
3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
 
Sauce
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
2 tablespoons rum
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put butter and lemon juice in 9” x 13” baking dish, and place in oven just until butter is melted.  Stir lemon juice into the melted butter until mixed. Split bananas in half lengthwise and arrange bananas in baking dish, rolling in the butter mixture first to coat. In small bowl stir together brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle sugar mixture on top of bananas. Bake 20 minutes or just until bananas are heated through and butter begins to bubble. Don’t overcook.

Meanwhile, stir all sauce ingredients together in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. The mixture will foam, so watch that it doesn’t boil over.  Cool sauce to room temperature.

To serve, spoon sauce over bananas; garnish with a sprinkle of lemon or orange zest and/or some shredded coconut.

Wouldn’t these be good cut up and served over vanilla ice cream, or stuffed into crêpes?

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Banana Pudding

July 3, 2007

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For a lot of us, Banana Pudding is summer and picnics and Fourth of July, all rolled into one creamy, pale yellow bowl of gooey delight. I like this recipe because it’s like a lemony banana cheesecake. And if it makes you nostalgic for shade trees with rope swings and old friends you haven’t seen in years, so much the better. SAM

1 (11-ounce) box vanilla wafers
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
5 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas, divided

Line a 9-inch square baking pan with vanilla wafers and set aside. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the milk and blend thoroughly. Add 3 tablespoons lemon juice and the vanilla and beat until thickened. Slice 3 bananas and layer them over the vanilla wafers in the pan. Pour in the filling, cover with plastic wrap, and chill 2 to 3 hours. Slice the remaining banana, dip into the remaining lemon juice, and place on top of the pudding.
Makes 8 servings.


Banana-Nut Bread

June 2, 2007

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When bananas get spotted and soft, it’s time to make banana-nut bread. Don’t even think of trying this with a banana you would slice on your morning cereal. And yes, do use vegetable shortening. Butter won’t give you the firm, moist crumb you need to balance all those bananas and nuts. Not only will you make someone very, very happy with this irresistible bread, you’ll make your entire home smell divine. But do not dig in when it comes out of the oven. You’ll be very disappointed. Banana-Nut Bread needs a full half-day of rest for the flavors to meld. SAM

1/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3 very ripe bananas, mashed (1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan and set aside.

With an electric mixer fitted with beaters or the paddle attachment, cream the shortening and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until smooth. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ginger and add to the shortening mixture alternately with the bananas, beginning and ending with flour. Stir in the nuts by hand. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until the center is firm and the sides have pulled slightly away from the pan. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out onto the rack to cool completely. Wrap tightly in foil or plastic wrap and store in the fridge for 10 to 12 hours before serving.
Makes 1 loaf or 12 slices.