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Bananas Foster


Chef notes

This is a Southern staple. Who doesn't like something sweet at the end of the meal? It reminds me of the first time I had it with my mom and sister in New Orleans. Whether served with pound cake and ice cream or frozen yogurt, it is the perfect closer to any meal.


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup cream or half-and-half
  • 4 firm-ripe bananas, peeled, halved lengthwise, then halved crosswise
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • vanilla ice cream (or frozen yogurt) and pound cake, to serve



In a 12-inch skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.


Stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon and cook until sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute.


Add the cream and cook, stirring continuously, until the grainy texture disappears, and the mixture rolls off the spoon in a steady stream, 1 to 2 minutes.


Put the banana quarters, rounded-side down, in the pan. Cook until the bananas begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes.


Turn the bananas onto their flat sides. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the rum. Set the pan over high heat and carefully light rum sauce with a long match or grill lighter. Gently shake the pan until the flame subsides. Remove from the heat and add vanilla extract.


Place a generous scoop of ice cream (or frozen yogurt) and pound cake in 8 individual heatproof dessert bowls. Arrange 2 to 3 pieces of sautéed banana around each scoop of ice cream. Spoon on the sauce and serve immediately.