Now before I dive into this week’s PPQ recipe, I have to bow down and say that Bananas Foster is not mine to lay claim on within my family. My father and little sister (my only sibling) staked that claim loooong ago. Dad makes Bananas Foster, often to introduce guests to fine Southern cuisine and, I suspect, to show off a little bit since the process involves flambeing. My sister started making it soon thereafter, probably also to show off a little bit, but I think mostly just because it’s a delicious recipe that’s really not too hard to do. So now it’s my turn. I have to admit that I have been on pins and needles waiting for the chance to choose a recipe for Project Pastry Queen and when it was finally my turn, there really was no other option than to choose this.
After years of other family members flambeing bananas, I had to, once and for all, make Bananas Foster. Reading this recipe over and over again, one major thing stood out to me–Rebecca doesn’t flambe the bananas. This is a key component as it caramelizes and deepens the flavors by raising the temperature to a high degree that wouldn’t be attainable by just a pan over a stove burner. Now that said, I tried and tried and I could not for the life of me get the pan to ignite. It was still delicious regardless and I didn’t set my hair on fire.
I admit, I made a number of other changes to the recipe as well. Usually when I am served this dessert, it is served over ice cream (as Rebecca suggests as well) and since you know that it is a requirement of my cooking to forget an ingredient, it wasn’t until making it tonight when I forgot the ice cream, that I realized ice cream is just too sweet for this recipe and my lack of serious sweet tooth. I used whipped cream instead and I thought it was perfect–finally a Bananas Foster that didn’t give me a sore throat from all the sugar! I also forgot the banana liqueur, but I kind of didn’t want to pay for a bottle of it anyway, and I think the recipe benefited from the subtle banana flavor instead of in your face banana flavor. Finally, Rebecca suggests adding pecans to the processor while making the biscuits. It’s optional, so I opted out, but it got me thinking of another New Orleans classic treat…instead of adding to the biscuits, I roughly chopped the pecans and sprinkled them on top, which added some fantastic crunch and when mixed in with the sauce made it like a praline!
All the other Pastry Queens-In-Training versions of this recipe can be found here, be sure to check them out.
Bananas Foster Shortcakes
The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather (with help from Brennan’s)
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- sugar for sprinkling
Bananas & Syrup
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup dark rum
- 8 barely ripe bananas, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds (a mandolin slicer makes quick work of this)
- whipped cream
- 1/3 cup pecans
- Turn the oven to 425 degrees.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and granulated sugar in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process about 30 seconds. Cut the butter into 16 pieces and add to the flour mixture. Pulse about 15 times, until the mixture is crumbly. Turn on the processor and pour the cream in through the feed tube in a thin, steady stream, until the mixture begins to form a ball.
- Remove the dough and place on a flat surface that has been sprinkled with flour. Gently form the dough into a 1/2 inch thick disk. Use a 4 inch biscuit cutter, round cookie cutter, or a glass to cut the dough into rounds. Roll the biscuits in the coarse sugar and set on a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet (Rebecca instructs you to use an ungreased cookie sheet, but my shortcakes stuck hard and fast to the sheet. I was not a happy camper).
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until the shortcakes begin to turn golden brown around the edges. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then use a spatula to transfer the biscuits to individual serving plates (or on a cooling rack if you’re not serving them immediately).
- While the shortcakes are in the oven, Melt the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a large saute pan set over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes. The mixture should not be heated beyond a simmer; if it begins to boil over, decrease the heat.
- Add the rum and sliced bananas to the syrup and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Rebecca suggests splitting the shortcakes but mine did not rise enough to actually split, so I used them as a base instead, and poured spoonfuls of the bananas and syrup over the cakes, topped with whipped cream and chopped pecans.