Bananas Foster Crème Brûlée
When someone claims that a recipe is an “epic culinary mash-up”, I expect results. Big results. This Bananas Foster Crème Brûlée from Graham Elliot delivers. The creamy, ripe bananas make the custard even more velvety and rich. The rum rounds out the flavors and of course the crackly sugar top is the addictive part of any crème brûlée that we all look forward to. His book Cooking Like a Master Chef covers sweet and savory recipes from Buffalo Chicken with Celeriac Slaw and Blue Cheese and Lollapalooza Lobster Corn to very nontraditional Banana Splits. This Crème Brûlée version will make a great addition to the holiday buffet. The custards can be made ahead and you can brûlée them in front of guests. Pyrotechnics always get the crowd going.
Copyright © 2015 by Team Alliot from Cooking Like a Master Chef by Graham Elliot published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. Photographs © Anthony Tahlier
T H I S I S A N EP I C culinary mash-up, one that should be cooked in the gastronomic octagon, MMA style! In one corner you have the Caribbean-inspired bananas Foster. In the other, the yummy yet predictable old standby, crème brûlée. Let ’em duke it out and what are you left ith? Bananas Foster Crème Brûlée, aka ridiculous deliciousness. The resulting dish is actually better than either of the contenders alone. This is a delightful example of how it can be okay to mess around with “fusion”—as long as it doesn’t turn into confusion.
PREP TIME: ABOUT 10 MINUTES, PLUS CHILLING COOKING TIME: 50 TO 60 MINUTES
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 bananas, chopped
- 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1⁄4 cup dark rum
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 8 large egg yolks
- 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- In a sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. When melted, add the bananas. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar and stir well to blend the sugar with the butter and bananas. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the bananas are slightly caramelized. Mash them with a wooden spoon until as smooth as possible.
- Add the lemon juice, raise the heat to medium-high, and add the rum. Let the mixture come to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and divide the bananas among six ramekins or custard cups.
- Pour the cream into a saucepan and scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the cream. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as it boils, remove from the heat.
- In the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, whisk the egg yolks with the granulated sugar until the mixture thickens. Strain the cream into the egg yolks and continue to stir for about 10 minutes, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Ladle the hot custard over the bananas in the ramekins, dividing it evenly, and transfer the ramekins to a roasting pan large enough to hold them without touching.
- Put the roasting pan on the center rack of the oven and pour in hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the custards are set.
- Lift the custards from the roasting pan and let them cool. Refrigerate for 3 hours to 12 hours.
- Just before serving, sprinkle the remaining brown sugar evenly over the custards and caramelize with a small blowtorch or under the broiler. Serve while the sugar crust is still hot.