Bless Your Spoon: Go bananas
Published 5:36 pm Tuesday, March 6, 2018
By Stephanie Williams Dean
The humble banana reigns supreme on southern sideboards. The chunky fruit’s presence graces pies, puddings, and cakes and continues to be one of the South’s simple darlings. No high maintenance here.
Whether holding down the tablecloth at the next family picnic or staking out a frontline position on a holiday buffet table, this yellow, luscious fruit commands a prominent place. No longer owning up to a bad wrap, the peeling of this sweetie is now being touted as edible and healthy in addition to an already extensive list of health benefits.
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 beaten eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 can undrained, crushed pineapple (8 oz.)
2 cups chopped bananas
1 cup chopped pecans
Combine beaten eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
Combine flour, sugar, soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add slowly to egg mixture while mixing.
Add pineapple, bananas, pecans, and mix.
Spoon batter into 3 greased (shortening) and floured 9 inch round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until firm. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
1 pkg. softened cream cheese (8oz.)
½ cup softened butter
1 pkg sifted, powdered sugar (16 oz.)
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
Combine cream cheese and butter, beating until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy. Spread frosting between layers and on top and side of the cake. Then sprinkle pecans on top of the cake.
CARAMELIZED BANANA PUDDING
1 1/2 cups of sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
4 cups of whole milk
6 beaten egg yolks (save whites)
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 box vanilla wafers (16 oz.)
4 large, sliced bananas
6 egg whites
½ cup sugar
Combine sugar, flour, and salt in a pan. Stir in milk a little at a time. Cook over medium-high heat, continuing to stir and do not let stick on bottom. Reduce heat to medium and continue until thickened. Remove from heat.
Beat egg yolks. Pour ¼ cup of hot milk mixture into beaten eggs and mix. Then pour entire egg mixture into thickened milk while stirring. Continue to stir over medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes, scraping any caramelized bits off the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
In a 2-quart baking dish, layer vanilla wafers on the bottom, then bananas and custard. Repeat. Top with meringue.
Beat egg whites until stiff and peaks form. Then beat in ½ cup sugar. Spread on top of pudding. Bake at 350 degrees oven for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned.
BANANA SPLIT PIE
1 pkg. softened cream cheese (8oz.)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 can crushed, drained pineapple (8oz.)
3 sliced ripe, medium bananas
½ cup chopped pecans
Graham cracker crust
Blend together cream cheese and powdered sugar. Add pineapple. Pour in the crust. Cover top with one layer of sliced bananas. Spread whipped topping over bananas. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top.
JAVA BAKED BANANAS
4 ripe, medium bananas
¼ cup melted butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup Kahlua or other coffee liqueur
Peel bananas; cut crosswise in half, then cut lengthwise. Place in an 11 x 7 baking dish.
Combine butter, lemon juice and drizzle over bananas. Sprinkle bananas with brown sugar, and drizzle liqueur over bananas.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Serve warm. (4 servings)
Stephanie Williams Dean is a writer
who lives – and cooks – in Mocksville.