Retro Recipes - The Secret Ingredient is Banana

It seems this season there is a new interest in pulling out old favored recipes from yesteryear.  I do not know if the Holiday has invoked this look back, or the overall spirit of a simpler time in our...

It seems this season there is a new interest in pulling out old favored recipes from yesteryear.  I do not know if the Holiday has invoked this look back, or the overall spirit of a simpler time in our memories.  The secret ingredient is bananas and both of these treats are served warm and the aromas add so much to each of these desserts!


This past week we had the pleasure to host Sheri Castle an accomplished cookbook author and creator of The Southern Living Community Cookbook.  Sheri  is a marvelous story teller in the creation of this “community” cookbook showcasing recipes and traditions of the South.  Southern food and stories are intertwined in this collection.  The roots of this book are the beloved recipes that have been passed down, generation to generation, that reflect a specific time and place.  Sheri reviewed 50 years of reader-submitted recipes for this edition as well as recipes from Southern icon chefs and the many cherished community cookbooks as her research for this effort.  She has the cooking class this weekend recreate a Brunch Menu of Sausage and Cheese Muffins, Grandma’s Ambrosia, Kentucky Hot Browns, Herb and Cheese Awendaw, a Banana Cobbler with Streusel Topping and this was all served with some Virgin Mary’s served with picked okra and olives. There was something about the Banana Cobbler that was memorable for me as well as her entire cooking class.  I will share this recipe below.

There is a theme around  warmed Bananas for me this season.  Another chef in the one and only Alex Reethoff, recently finished a corporate event with Classic Bananas Foster and everyone was in awe of this simple and elegant dish.  Served with the finest Vanilla Bean Ice Cream it was wonderfully decadent.  Something about a flaming dessert adds to the show.

Here are the recipes for two favored warmed banana dishes.

Bananas Foster served over Pound Cake
Bananas Foster served over Pound Cake

Classic Bananas Foster

– recipe shared by Alex Reethof


  • 2 bananas, peeled and very ripe
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons banana liqueur
  • ¼ cup 151 rum
  • 1 pint high quality vanilla bean ice cream


  1. Slice the bananas in half lengthwise and brush with lemon juice.
  2. Melt the butter and sugar in 10 –inch non-stick skillet.
  3. Add bananas and saute until just tender.
  4. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  5. Remove from the heat add liqueur and rum.
  6. Carefully ignite with a long match.
  7. Use a long handled spoon to baste the bananas with the warm liquid until the flame burns down.
  8. Serve immediately slicing the bananas and serving with high quality vanilla bean ice cream.
  9. Another serving suggestion was to top Pound Cake with Bananas Foster.
  10. Serve immediately.

Banana Cobbler Served with Ice Cream
Banana Cobbler Served with Ice Cream

Banana Cobbler with Streusel Topping 

– recipe shared by Sheri Castle – Southern Living Community Cookbook

This creative cobbler is reminiscent of a delicious combination of warm banana bread, banana pudding and great oatmeal cookies.  For best results, use slightly overripe bananas that have yellow peels splotched with brown flecks.  You won’t get the same depth of flavor or moistness without them.


Streusel Topping

  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup self-rising flour
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup uncooked regular oats
  • ½ cup chopped pecans


  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup butter melted
  • 4 medium sliced ripe bananas ( 2 pounds unpeeled will yield about 4 cups of thinly sliced bananas)

Serve with vanilla or caramel ice cream.


  1. Toprepare streusel, stir together brown sugar, flour. and softened butter in a large bowl until crumbly. Stir in oats and pecans. Chill until needed.
  2. To prepare cobbler, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 11 x 7 inch baking dish,
  3. Whisk together flour, sugar and milk, mix only until blended. Whisk in melted butter, pour batter into prepared dish. Top with banana slices. Sprinkle with streusel topping.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving warm, topped with ice cream. We opted for a Salted Caramel Gelato that was a fabulous topper!

The original recipe was shared from Ann Wilson’s kitchen in Lexington, North Carolina.

I hope you enjoy one of these Retro Treats this Holiday!