We admit that this recipe started out as a bit of a stunt - what kind of fruit could we braise? But it turned out so well - better than any of our other attempts at caramelized bananas or Bananas Foster - that we're putting it in regular rotation.
Braising the bananas directly in brown sugar and brandy infuses the delicate banana flavor throughout the entire sauce, which, if you like bananas, is a treat. The buttermilk gives it a tang that balances the very sweet bananas and boozy caramel. It's very rich, and splendid over ice cream.
Braised Bananas in Brandied Caramel
2 large firm bananas, slightly green
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons brandy
1 cup buttermilk
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Peel the bananas and slice them in half, then again lengthwise. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat and sear the bananas on both sides until golden and a little brown on the edges. Remove from the pot.
Add the rest of the butter and the brown sugar and stir over medium heat, letting the sugar bubble up. Add the brandy and stir then add the buttermilk. Bring up to a boil, stirring constantly, then turn the heat to low and add the bananas. Cover and cook for about 7 minutes, or until tender.
Serve over ice cream.