Bananas Foster is elegant but oh so simple to make and what vanilla ice cream has been waiting for all its life.

I first had Bananas Foster as a newly wed living in Pensacola, Florida where my husband was stationed at the Navy base. 

We often drove over to New Orleans for the day on the weekends to take in all the sights and sounds and enjoy a good meal.

One bite and I knew that I wanted to learn how to make the delicious sauce that had originated right in New Orleans at home. It's super easy and uses ingredients you likely already have on hand.

The traditional recipe does call for banana liqueur, but I skip it because that's not something I tend to keep on hand or wanted to buy for the few times I might make bananas foster, and I don't miss it.

I'm not a huge fan of bananas in general, but this is one way that I can tolerate them. However, you could sub in peaches or plums instead very easily, for a slightly less traditional - but no less delicious - dessert! 

So next time you have bananas you need to use up, don't make that same old tired banana bread. Make Bananas Foster instead. I usually use pretty firm bananas, but ripened, soft bananas would work just as well. I would just not cook them for very long so they stay together.

Scroll down for the printable recipe card.

Bananas Foster

Makes 2 servings.

1/2 stick butter 
1 cup brown sugar 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
Pinch salt 
2 bananas, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise and crosswise 
1/4 cup dark rum 
4 scoops vanilla ice cream

Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a large skillet. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt until combined and bubbling. Add the bananas, cut sides down. Continue to cook for a few minutes, basting the bananas with the sugar mixture, to soften the bananas a bit. 

Slowly pour in the rum. Tilt the pan to light the rum on fire, if you dare! (That part is completely optional. I usually skip it because I'm not prepared to put out a kitchen fire!) 

Either way,  cook for another minute or two to let some of the alcohol burn off, then remove from the heat and divide the bananas between two bowls of ice cream. Spoon the liquid over the top.

Or alternatively, spoon the bananas onto the ice cream, then pour the liquid into a small pitcher and pour the liquid over the ice cream table side.

Serve immediately.

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