November 14, 2009
November in Texas, it turns out, makes up for August in Texas. It's warm and sunny every day, as opposed to infernal and sunny every day. Trees are still green; birds are arriving from the north; I'm not even close to thinking about coats and scarves. All of this is wonderful, and I love it, but it means I have no business making autumnal, comforting things like these banana-maple upside-down puddings. But it's just that this time last year I was in chilly New Hampshire, walking in the turning woods and buying maple syrup from the farmer's market and roasting things and drinking tea, and I sort of miss it.
So here are some autumnal/fallish puddings for you, sweet with caramelised maple syrup but ever so slightly summery with bananas. Maple syrup and bananas are so extraordinarily tasty together, but then, maple syrup is extraordinarily tasty with everything.
Banana Maple Upside-Down Puddings
adapted from Australian Gourmet Traveller
200 ml maple syrup
160g soft butter
80ml (1/3 cup) pouring cream (heavy cream)
3 ripe bananas, peeled
1 tsp lemon juice
220g (1 cup) raw caster sugar (or just raw sugar)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour
1 tsp bi-carbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
80ml (1/3 cup) milk
Cook maple syrup in a saucepan over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes or until starting to caramelise, add 35g butter and all the cream and swirl to combine. Pour 2 tbsp of maple-caramel into bases of six 1-cup capacity metal darioles, swirling to coat sides slightly and reserving remaining caramel mixture. Thinly slice 1 banana widthways, layer slices over caramel and set aside.
Preheat oven to 160°C / 320°F. Using a fork, coarsely mash remaining bananas with lemon juice, to yield 3/4 cup, and set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat remaining butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add eggs, mashed banana and vanilla extract and beat to combine. Sieve over flour, bi-carbonate of soda and cinnamon, stir to combine, add milk and mix until smooth.
Divide pudding mixture into moulds to 1.5cm below rims (there may be a little mixture left over), smoothing tops, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until risen and firm to the touch. Unmould immediately onto serving plates, drizzle over reserved maple-caramel and serve with double cream or ice cream.