These pan-fried bananas with brandy are a lot like bananas Foster minus the flambé. It’s a New Orleans-style dessert full of boozy bananas lavished with brown sugar, butter, brandy, and coconut cream.
These pan-fried bananas with brandy are a riff on that Southern classic, bananas foster, and take their sweet richness from a spoonful of coconut cream and their unexpectedly citrusy lilt from orange juice reduced to a syrup. No flaming requiring. (Though next time you have a hankering that just can’t wait, you could probably do without the reduced juice, simply in the interest of saving time.)–Renee Schettler Rossi
Pan-Fried Bananas with Brandy
- 1 1/4 cups fresh orange juice (from about 4 oranges)
- 4 large firm, medium-ripe bananas
- 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 oz) unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- 1 tablespoon water
- Large pinch salt
- Coconut cream chilled, for lavishing (from a can of coconut cream or skimmed from the top of a can of coconut milk)
- Pour the orange juice into a small pan and simmer vigorously until reduced to about 3 tablespoons, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, peel the bananas and cut each in half crosswise, then cut each half in half lengthwise.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter and heat until it’s melted and nutty brown.
- Add the bananas and quickly sauté until lightly browned and just tender, about 1 minute, turning once halfway through with a spatula. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over the butter and gently shake the skillet until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat.
- Carefully divvy the bananas among 4 dessert plates. Add the remaining sugar and butter, reduced orange juice, brandy, water, and salt to the skillet and simmer for 1 minute. Drizzle the sauce over the bananas and serve with a spoonful of coconut cream.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This pan-fried bananas with brandy recipe couldn’t be simpler or more delicious. Simmering down the orange juice took a bit over 20 minutes. As the juice cooked down, it became almost neon in appearance.
I’d recommend using a spatula to remove the cooked bananas as I found they didn’t all survive my tongs. A ton of flavor with very little time or energy!
Wow—this is an amazing and memorable dessert. The sauce is unbelievably flavorful and the drizzle of coconut cream is a must, as it provides a great balance to the slightly tart sauce. It comes together quickly and includes simple ingredients that are easy to keep on hand for those last-minute dessert cravings. I was impressed with how combining so few ingredients could come together to achieve such greatness.
For some added texture, consider topping this dessert with a handful of toasted chopped walnuts or pistachios. l found that while the quantity of bananas in the recipe serves 4, the sauce could be doubled. Two of us polished off the sauce in one sitting—it’s that good.
I loved the use of the coconut cream! I’d a hard time finding coconut cream, but discovered that if you put a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator, the cream will rise to the top. With the addition of the nuts for a great texture balance with the soft bananas, I’d give this recipe a 10!
A simple, elegant dessert without much effort. The nutty flavor of the browned butter paired well with the delicate sweetness of the bananas. Topped with the wonderful orangey-caramel brandy sauce and balanced by the creaminess of the coconut cream, this dessert makes a flavorful end to any meal.
I decided to halve this recipe since it was only hubby and me, but I’m happy I got enough ingredients to make this one again since we both loved it. We really enjoyed the addition of the coconut cream; the cold went well with the hot bananas and syrup. The orange juice and brandy added such a nice touch and I was surprised that it wasn’t overly sweet with the brown sugar. This is a recipe I’ll be using again.
It’d be a great entertaining dessert since you could do the reduction of the orange juice ahead of time and then it only takes a few minutes to finish the dish.
This is a straightforward recipe that highlights the natural flavor of the bananas. It’s good exactly as written, except for the coconut cream—mine refrigerated to a solid state. I think this’d be just as good as bananas Foster (well, almost) if it were served over a scoop of ice cream!
Originally published February 16, 2021