Rum Custard and Banana Crisp

It seems fitting to end the month like any good meal, with desserts! Bananas sliced and doused in a rum-sugar syrup, topped with crumbled nuts and cookies and baked.  And a rum custard topped with maraschino cherries and cinnamon.  Notice a theme? In Cuba, it’s all about the rum! :)

Banana Crisp
1 banana, sliced lengthwise into three slices
1 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. light or amber rum
a few drops of vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
dash of nutmeg
1/4 c. crumbled cookies (amaretti or ginger snaps)
1 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

This recipe is for one serving. Place the banana slices in a small baking dish. Mix together the brown sugar, lime juice, rum and vanilla in a small bowl. Pour over bananas. Mix the melted butter with cookies, walnuts and nutmeg and sprinkle the crumbs over the top of the banana slices. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Adapted from Memories of a Cuban Kitchen, by Mary Urrutia Randelman and Joan Schwartz

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Rum Custard
2 egg yolks
1/4 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/3 c. whole milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. white rum
1 Tbsp. dark rum
marashino cherries
cinnamon

In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar and custard until well-blended and light yellow in color. Set aside.

In a saucepan, scald the milk (this means bring it to just almost a boil, but not quite, steaming but not bubbling). Remove from heat and add vanilla and rums. While whisking the egg yolk mixture, gradually add some of the hot milk, continually whisking to keep from curdling the egg.  When you’ve added about half of the milk mixture to the eggs, switch and pour the egg mixture back into the pot with the remaining milk, continuing to whisk vigorously until it is all blended.

Cook slowly over very low heat until the mixture thickens, continuing to stir constantly with a wooden spoon. The mixture is ready when it thickly coats the back of the wooden spoon. Carefully pour the custard into desired serving dishes. Chill and serve cold. Add a maraschino cherry to each serving and sprinkle with cinnamon to garnish.

Adapted from Cuba Cocina! by Joyce LaFray

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