Bananas à la Foster


Here's a spirited old favorite that's still scrumptious. If you're looking for an easy dessert that always elicits "oohs" and "aahs", this one's worth trying. Although it's very impressive to flambé the dessert in front of your guests, you can make the dessert ahead of time and reheat to serve.


3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Cognac or Brandy
2 tablespoons dark rum
2 tablespoons banana liqueur (optional)
4 ripe bananas
1 pint vanilla ice cream


In a large skillet, melt the butter and brown sugar. Add the cinnamon, orange, and lemon juices and heat over a medium-high until bubbling.

Add the alcohol and heat for an additional minute. Then, standing well back from the pan and with your face averted, flambé the syrup by lighting with a match. Shake the pan until the flames die out.

Peel the bananas and cut in half crosswise. Cut each piece in half lengthwise. Add the bananas to the pan and sauté over low heat for 2 or 3 minutes to warm through.

Place one or two scoops of ice cream in each of 4 shallow bowls. Arrange 4 banana spears in each dish and divide the syrup evenly between them. Serve immediately.


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