How to Make Bananas Foster

Here’s something I’ve learned about Bananas Foster: it doesn’t photograph well. But then what did I expect when I spooned hot caramel sauce over ice cream? The real visual magic of this dish happens during the preparation. As soon as it’s plated, it begins its transformation into a melty mass of sweet, rummy goodness. No wonder it’s almost always made at tableside. Start by getting all of your ingredients measured and ready. It’s a good idea to have your bowls of ice cream standing by. Also a fire extinguisher.

Now heat your pan over medium-low heat. Add the butter…

…and the brown sugar…

…and stir it together until a “caramel” of sorts forms.

Now arrange your bananas however you like. Make sure the pan is big enough so you don’t crowd them.

As the sauce starts to bubble, add in your banana liqueur.

Cook the bananas for a minute or so, spooning the sauce over and/or turning them so they get completely coated.

When ready, add the rum. Let it warm for about fifteen seconds or so, and then…


Let the fire burn as long as it will…about twenty or thirty seconds. During that time, jostle the pan to encourage more of the alcohol to burn off. Spoon the hot mixture over scoops of ice cream and serve immediately. This recipe can be doubled, but be sure to use a big enough pan, like a 12″ sauté.

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