This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs our theme is Seasonal Specialties--Jacques Pépin recipes that feature ingredients that are in season right now wherever we live. We do have growing seasons in Hawaii for certain items, but a good amount of produce grows year-round or at least most of the year. I decided to twist the theme slightly and pick something more local than truly seasonal--bananas. My favorite bananas are Hawaii-grown candy apple bananas for their sweetness and tangy flavor. I have been eyeing Pépin's Banana Bourbon Coupe recipe from Fast Food My Way, liking the fact that it features bananas as a topping, and that I could use other local ingredients like honey and lime juice, and even swap out almonds for some Hawaiian macadamia nuts and use Maui sugar cookies. I also thought that the boozy banana topping cried out for vanilla ice cream, so I put some in the mix.
Jacques says, "This is one of those recipes that you prepare on the spur of the moment with whatever is available. I went skiing in Vermont with my good friend Jean-Claude, and we invited some guests for dessert. All we had were a few bananas and some cookies. We mixed some bourbon (of course we had lots of wine and liquor!) with honey and lime juice, tossed in the bananas, and served them over crushed cookies in wide shallow glasses for Champagne (called coupes). The toasted almonds add crunch."
Banana Bourbon Coupe
Adapted from Fast Food My Way, Jacques Pépin
3 Tbsp honey (I used rainbow honey from Kauai)
3 Tbsp bourbon (I did use bourbon but rum would also be nice here)
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice (I used local lime)
4 bananas (about 1 1/4 lb total) (I used candy apple bananas)
3 Tbsp sliced almonds (I subbed in roasted macadamia nuts)
4-6 plain cookies depending on size, such as store-bought sugar cookies (I used these)
1 tsp lime zest strips or grated lime zest
(I added vanilla ice cream)
Combine honey, bourbon, and lime juice in a bowl. Peel and slice the bananas crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices and toss them in the honey mixture.
Toast the sliced almonds, either in a skillet or the oven, until they are lightly browned and fragrant and set aside. (I used roasted, salted mac nuts so I didn't toast them further.)
At serving time, crush the cookies coarsely and divide the crumbs into four glasses. (I topped the crushed cookies with part of the banana and a few small scoops of vanilla ice cream, then layered on more bananas and crushed cookies.) Spoon the banana mixture on top of the cookies and garnish the desserts with the toasted almonds and lime zest.
Notes/Results: With the ice cream, this was like a yummy, boozy, tropical sundae. I liked the bourbon but think it would also be really good with the banana rum I have in my bar cabinet. The crunch of the sugar cookie crumbs and the toasted mac nuts was a nice contrast to the creamy vanilla ice cream and the lime juice and zest added to the tropical flavor. I would definitely make it again--keeping the ice cream addition. ;-)
You can see what the other IHCC participants did with their seasonal ingredients by checking out the picture links on the post.