Banana and banana split lovers, you’ve come to the right place. This one is for you. If you follow food holidays, you already know August is not only the final month of glorious summer, but it’s also the month of bananas. Additionally, it’s the month that features a guilty pleasure known as banana splits. In celebration of National Banana Lovers Day and Banana Split Day, I present this scrumptious and not-as-guilty dessert.
OK, it’s a teeny bit of a guilty pleasure still. But a little sauce goes a long way (for some), so you may not have to use much to satisfy your sweet tooth. Leftover sauce is wonderful on waffles, pancakes, etc. I used reduced fat ice cream, which tastes amazing in this dessert, but almost anything will taste awesome with this bananas foster and the caramel-like sauce. I added a bit of orange zest to the sauce, which was fantastic, and reminiscent of Grand-Marnier without the alcohol.
I left my sweet treat pretty basic – just bananas foster over classic vanilla bean ice cream. It’s a great place to start (and end), but if you’d like, add any toppings you wish to amp up the banana split factor. Whipped cream, chocolate, chunks of fruit… whatever rocks your socks!
The gooey warm sauce started melting my ice cream, so this is the last photo I could manage before I… I mean we…had to put away the lens and take care of business. You definitely want to drizzle the warm sauce on the ice cream just when you’re ready to serve and eat.
Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention… this sauce is unbelievably easy. It took me literally minutes to cook it up. No need to flambe, either. You can do it for show if you want to impress guests, but it’s not necessary. The alcohol in the rum can be cooked off with simmering. If you want to be extra sure the alcohol has burned off, you can use a long candle lighter to see if anything ignites. The alcohol is burned off if there is no flame.
3 slightly under-ripe or barely ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 1/2 TB rum
1 TB vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Optional: 1 tsp orange zest, fine
Vanilla bean ice cream
Melt butter over medium heat in large skillet. Add sugar, rum, vanilla, and cinnamon. Stir frequently. Bring to slow simmer, reducing heat to medium-low. The sauce will bubble as it simmers. Simmer until alcohol taste is mostly or completely burned off, 1-2 minutes. If you can still taste alcohol, simmer a bit longer. Place sliced bananas in pan and gently cook 30 seconds to 1 minute or just until soft, but not mushy. Serve immediately over ice cream.
* If flambe: Add the rum last, just before adding bananas. Pour rum into skillet, slightly and carefully tilting pan to expose alcohol to heat source, and it should ignite. If not, use long candle lighter to ignite. Cook until flame dies out. Then add bananas.