Caramelized Bananas With Pecan-Coconut Crunch
This cozy dessert comes together quickly and fills the kitchen with a sweet, buttery aroma. The textures play well together: The spiced caramel is silky but robust, the bananas tender, and the pecan-and-coconut topping crunchy and crisp. Pick ripe but firm bananas so they’ll maintain their shape after cooking. (The bananas should be yellow with no black spots; green bananas won’t work.) Broil them until sizzling, then allow the bubbling caramel to cool and thicken a bit before serving. Devoured directly out of the skillet, or spooned into individual servings, these caramelized bananas are a lovely way to end a meal. Top with a scoop of ice cream for a cool contrast to the warm dessert.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 4tablespoons/55 grams unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
- 2tablespoons honey
- ½teaspoon kosher salt
- ½cup/50 grams shelled pecans, chopped
- ¼cup/35 grams raw pumpkin seeds
- ¼cup/20 grams rolled oats
- ¼cup/20 grams large coconut chips or flakes
- 2tablespoons sesame seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds or any other small seed
- ¼cup plus 2 tablespoons/85 grams dark brown sugar
- ¼cup/60 milliliters heavy cream
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Pinch of black pepper
- 4to 5 ripe but firm bananas (about 1 3/4 pounds/795 grams), peeled and halved lengthwise
- Ice cream, whipped cream or crème fraîche, for serving
Step 1Make the crunchy topping: In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium until melted and foamy, about 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon honey and the salt; using a spatula, stir to combine. Add the pecans, pumpkin seeds, oats and coconut and stir to coat. Toast, stirring frequently, until the mixture is golden brown, about 8 minutes, lowering the heat as necessary to keep the mixture from burning. Stir in the sesame seeds and remove from heat. Move to a shallow bowl and set aside to cool. (You should have about 1 1/2 cups.)
Step 2Prepare the bananas: Set the oven to broil. Wipe out the skillet and add the brown sugar, heavy cream, nutmeg, pepper, remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon honey. Stir ingredients and bring to a simmer over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes.
Step 3Remove the skillet from the heat and place the bananas in the pan, cut-side up. Spoon some of the sauce over the top to coat the slices. Move the pan to the oven and broil until the caramel sauce is hot and bubbly and the bananas are tender, deep golden and slightly charred in spots, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes.
Step 4Spoon a large helping of the ice cream, whipped cream or crème fraîche over the warm bananas, then scatter the pecan-coconut crunch over the top. Divide among individual plates or eat directly from the skillet.