MasterChef mainstay Graham Elliot has launched his first cookbook, packed with tips, tricks and inventive recipes that will have you cooking like a master in no time. With offerings customizable to the home cook’s tastes, from simple vegetarian sides to impressive entrées and desserts, you just can’t lose.
This is an epic 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 with? 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.
- 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
For the crème brûlée
Preheat the oven to 300ºF.
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.