Let me just say that Hazel hates bananas. If she were in charge of banning foods, bananas would disappear from the planet. I don’t hate bananas, but I don’t love them either. So it is just possible that our hearts were not in it when we decided to make bananas foster on New Year’s Eve.It was a last-minute request from our sister Margaret; Hazel had most of the ingredients–not, needless to say, the bananas–and I grabbed my copy of Lee Bailey’s New Orleans, found a recipe for a bananas foster shortcake and figured we could work with that.
It was not a success. We ended up with about a quart of butterscotch sauce that we could not flambe– and tough bananas. I didn’t even know it was possible to make bananas tough.
Sometimes, though, salvaging a failure can result in something pretty delicious, even if it isn’t what you had in mind to start with. We served that butterscotch sauce warm over ice cream, along with decadently chocolate cookies, and we were all happy.
Those tough bananas? Hazel has a compost pile and marauding raccoons, so the bananas didn’t go to waste either.
Here’s the recipe for the butterscotch sauce. It’s great. Skip the bananas.
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup rum
Bring the cream to a simmer and stir in the brown sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the salt, vanilla and rum. You can either continue to simmer it to burn off the alcohol, or you can serve it immediately. But don’t bother trying to flambe it–it won’t happen.