Bananas Foster

A book extra for The Italian’s Virgin Princess

This delicious recipe figures into the story...

In the 1950’s, New Orleans was the major port of entry for bananas shipped from Central and South America. Owen Edward Brennan challenged his talented chef, Paul Blange, to include bananas in a new culinary creation — Owen’s way of promoting the imported fruit. Simultaneously, Holiday Magazine had asked Owen to provide a new recipe to appear in a feature article on Brennan’s, which is featured in The Italian’s Virgin Princess.

In 1951, Chef Paul created Bananas Foster. The scrumptious dessert was named for Richard Foster, who, as chairman, served with Owen on the New Orleans Crime Commission, a civic effort to clean up the French Quarter. Richard Foster, owner of the Foster Awning Company, was a frequent customer of Brennan’s and a very good friend of Owen.

Brennan's Bananas Foster
Brennan’s Bananas Foster

Little did anyone realize that Bananas Foster would become an international favorite and the most requested item on the restaurant’s menu. Thirty-five thousand pounds of bananas are flamed each year at Brennan’s in the preparation of it’s world-famous dessert.

Bananas Foster Recipe – Serves 4

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup white rum
4 bananas, cut in half, lengthwise, then halved. 1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup banana liqueur
4 scoops vanilla ice cream.

Combine the butter, sugar and cinnamon in a flambe pan or skillet. Place the pan over low heat either on an alcohol burner or on top of the stove, and cook, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan. When the banana sections soften and begin to brown, carefully add the rum. Continue to cook the sauce until the run is hot, then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum. When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice cream. Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream and serve immediately.

Inside Brennan's Restaurant, 417 Royal Street, New Orleans
Inside Brennan’s Restaurant, 417 Royal Street, New Orleans

(Shared by permission from Brennan’s. Beautiful photography is all Brennan’s)