Don’t misunderstand us. Banana bread, and our epic search for the ultimate recipe, is one of the best reasons we have for getting out of bed in the morning. (Witness our mishmash of recipes and our collective bow to Gaby Dalkin and Amanda Fredrickson, both of whom have banana bread recipes we L-O-V-E.)
With our nod to banana bread out of the way, we would be amiss not to mention that there are, in fact, MANY more ways to use beautifully ripe bananas than simply to make bread. Here are a few of our banana recipe favorites:
Flaming desserts served tableside by jacketed waiters were just the thing in well-established restaurants of decades past. This recipe for Bananas Foster was created in 1951 by chef Paul Blangé at the now-legendary Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans. Well, it’s up to you to bring the practice back into vogue and this simple rum-and-banana restaurant classic is the perfect place to start.
A banana-infused custard topped with caramelized bananas gives this creamy custard a double dose of our favorite tropical fruit. A broiler will get the job done when it comes to caramelizing the bananas, though your baking dishes will probably appreciate a good kitchen torch instead.
The addition of rum and spices takes this nostalgic favorite O-T-T. We like to use a vanilla bean for both the flavor and the pretty flecks it makes in the custard, but you can substitute 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract if you like. For another short-cut, swap out the homemade caramel sauce for your favorite store-bought variety.
If you really just can’t get beyond your love of banana bread, then this is a good recipe to try—just as easy to make as your quick bread fave, but with a lighter, fluffier crumb and more refined banana flavor.
If ice cream is your only answer when it comes to a truly great dessert, then this creamy, icy, chocolatey all-time favorite is a go-to. Save extra chocolate sauce for drizzling on top.