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New Orleans Banana Shortcakes

New Orleans Banana Shortcakes

Looking to break up the old dessert routine? Have extra bananas just a-waitin' to be used? Try these sweet and tasty biscuits full of banana flavor and real vanilla bean goodness, topped with warm caramel sauce - a tasty salute to Brennan's Restaurant's Bananas Foster, a New Orleans tradition.

Ingredients

Biscuits

  • 2 cups King Arthur Perfect Pastry Blend or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar, to taste
  • 1 medium banana, very ripe
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Sauce

  • 4 medium-size ripe bananas, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 cup butterscotch liqueur (e.g., Butterscotch Schnapps)
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream, your favorite brand

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. If you like sweeter biscuits, use the larger amount of sugar.
  3. Mash the banana together with the vanilla bean paste in a small bowl. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the banana/vanilla mash.
  4. Pour 3/4 cup of the cream into the banana mash and stir together. Gradually mix in the flour, pulling it from the sides of the bowl into the wet mixture in the center. Your goal is a soft, moist dough with no dry crumbs. Add more cream if needed to moisten the dry ingredients completely.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over like a letter two or three times, until it's fairly smooth. Lightly roll out to 3/4" thickness. Use a sharp biscuit cutter in the desired size (2" is a good size).
  6. Place the cut biscuits on the parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet. Scraps can be re-rolled and cut again once. If desired, brush the tops of the biscuits with additional cream or melted butter and sprinkle with coarse sparkling sugar.
  7. Bake the biscuits for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool as you prepare the sauce.
  8. To make the sauce: Slice the bananas and set on a plate next to the stove. Melt the butter and brown sugar together in a large skillet over medium heat.
  9. When the mixture begins to bubble around the edges of the pan, add the allspice and butterscotch liqueur. Simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken.
  10. Add the sliced bananas and the rum. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes, or until the bananas just begin to soften.
  11. To serve, split each cooled shortcake biscuit in half. Add one scoop of vanilla ice cream and top with some of the cooked bananas and sauce.

Hands-on time: 20 to 25 min | Baking time: 15 18 min
Total time: 40 min to 1 hr 10 min | Yield: 12 to 14 biscuits depending on size

While we feel allspice truly makes the flavor of this dish, you can replace it with an equal amount of cinnamon.

Note that the recipe calls for a tablespoon of baking powder; no, that isn't a misprint!

Sorry, there's no substitute for the liquor in this recipe. You can enjoy a slightly different dessert by making the biscuits as directed, then topping with freshly sliced bananas and warm caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought.

Recipe and photo credit: King Arthur Flour


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