Here are two dozen delicious (and often unique) ways to serve bananas — try one or more of these recipes for a taste of life back more than 100 years ago!
Best vintage banana recipes
Perhaps no form of plant life, with the exception of the palm, is more typically tropical in appearance than the Musa (including both plantain and banana); none is more widely cultivated through the variations of the warmer climates, and nothing has ever been found in the vegetable kingdom which could with such entire satisfaction or in so wholesale a manner take its place in the countries where it grows.
24 ways to serve bananas
The banana may be baked whole, one side of the skin being stripped back in this case, or it may be peeled and cut in halves or quarters.
The fruit should be placed in a baking pan sprinkled with cinnamon, a half-cup of sugar, a pinch of salt, and tiny bits of butter. Pour into the pan a half-cup of water and baste frequently while baking in a quick oven. Lemon juice may be substituted for cinnamon, making it into a syrup before baking, then pouring over the fruit when placed in oven.
Apples may be baked with the peeled bananas, with delicious results, adding a dash of lemon juice.
FRIED BANANAS RECIPE
Peel and split bananas; dip each half into well-beaten egg, then into fine breadcrumbs just before frying in hot oil.
Peel six bananas which are not too ripe; cut in half crosswise and place in a saucepan with three-fourths pint of claret, two tablespoons of sugar, and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Simmer for half an hour, then set off to cool; place on ice and serve with whipped cream. Apples or other fruit may be added.
BANANAS WITH RICE
Bananas stewed or baked may be served with rice sweetened or plain boiled, the rice heaped in the center with a border of the fruit.
BANANA FRITTERS (In halves)
Let bananas stand for an hour in a deep dish with lemon juice and sugar sprinkled over them, also the grated rind of an orange if convenient. Then cut bananas in half, and dip each piece in batter (see Fritter batter recipe below). When brown, drain and serve with sugar (powdered) sprinkled over them.
Fritter batter: To one cup of flour add a good pinch of salt and a half teaspoon of baking powder, then sift. Into the middle of this stir two beaten eggs and a half cup each of milk and sugar, then beat well. One egg only may be used, in which case add a half teaspoon of baking powder.
BANANA FRITTERS (crushed) OR PANCAKES
Crush pulp of six bananas and to this add the beaten yolks of two eggs, a little salt, a tablespoon each of butter and sugar, one and a half cups of flour, and a teaspoon of baking powder. Add beaten whites of eggs last and drop from spoon into frying kettle. Serve as above. For pancakes, make a thinner batter, putting fruit through sieve and cook as for the regular pancake.
Mash or grate a banana, add yolks of three eggs, two tablespoons of sugar and three-fourths pint of milk in which has been dissolved a tablespoon of cornstarch. Let cook in double-boiler till thick, then place in a pastry shell just baked. Spread over the top a meringue made with the whites of the eggs and half-cup of sugar; set in the oven and let brown before serving.
ALSO TRY: Banana Breeze no-bake pie (1974)
Lay slices of banana between thin bread, buttered, in baking pan and place in hot oven till lightly browned. Serve immediately. Or make Banana Pudding Sauce with one pint milk, tablespoon each butter, cornstarch and sugar, pinch of salt, and pulp of four bananas stirred in just before serving, then pour the whole over slices of thin, crisp toast.
BANANA PUDDING RECIPE
Mash six bananas and add one tablespoon cornstarch rubbed smooth in half a cup of cold milk. Add a half cup of sugar and a pinch of salt and place a layer of this in bottom of baking dish. Over this sprinkle crisp bread or cracker-crumbs mixed with one cup chopped peanuts. Repeat the alternation of layers, having two of each.
On top, sprinkle sugar and bake forty minutes in moderate oven. Serve with Banana Pudding Sauce: One pint milk, tablespoon each butter, cornstarch and sugar, pinch of salt, and pulp of four bananas stirred in just before serving.
BANANA ICE CREAM
To the crushed pulp of six bananas add one cup sugar, one-half teaspoon salt, and one quart milk and cream mixed. Mix well and freeze.
FROZEN BANANA CUSTARD
To one quart of heated milk add three well-beaten eggs, one cup of sugar, and a pinch of salt. Cool, add the crushed pulp of four or five bananas and pinch of salt, and freeze. With custard, also, it is sometimes best to partially freeze before adding the fruit.
Make a syrup of two cups of sugar to one of water and cook till it strings from the spoon. Stir into it then the crushed or cubed pulp of four bananas and cook slowly (where there is no danger of burning) until thick. (About fifteen minutes).
The addition of lemon, currant, or other tart fruit juice relieves the intense sweetness but does not detract from the banana flavor.
ICED BANANA SOUP
Mash four bananas; pass them through a sieve; measure, then add twice this quantity of cold milk, sugar to taste, a pinch of salt, and the grated rind of an orange. Place on stove and when at boiling point, add two teaspoons of cornstarch. Cook five minutes; remove and cool, then place on ice. Serve in bouillon bowls, adding to each a few creme de menthe or maraschino cherries.
Bananas may be sliced, diced or crushed, to be served with fine-sliced orange, or diced apple and nuts, on the tenderest lettuce. Pineapple or cherries may be added. Use cream or liqueur-flavored dressings.
SWEET BANANA OMELET
Beat three eggs separately, adding whites last, with a half-cup of sugar and breadcrumbs, a pinch of salt, and the pulp of three bananas. Into this stir the stiff whites and cook in omelet pan.
BANANA CUPCAKES RECIPE
One cup of sugar, three of flour, one and a fourth cups of banana pulp, and two teaspoons of baking powder. Grate orange or lemon peel over the top and bake.
BANANA AND NUT LOAF (For tea cake or pudding)
To one cup crushed banana pulp, add one cup each of chopped nuts, grated coconut, oatflakes and cracker or breadcrumbs, and one-half cup sugar. Into this sprinkle two teaspoons each of butter and baking powder, one of salt, and sufficient flour to bind together in thick batter. Bake in moderate oven forty-five minutes.
BANANA LAYER CAKE
Any simple cake batter may be used for the body of the cake. The filling may be made in any of these ways:
No. 1. Spread sliced bananas over the layers and on the banana place lemon or apple jelly.
No. 2. Instead of the jelly substitute a plain icing.
No. 3. Substitute whipped cream for the jelly.
No. 4. The pulp of six bananas may be beaten up with a pint of whipped cream or the stiff-whipped whites of two or three eggs and a little sugar. The cream or egg may also be used on top of the cakes.
BANANA NUT STRIPS
To two cups of mashed banana pulp add one cup each of oat flakes, flour, chopped nuts, and sugar with a half-cup of shortening and saltspoon of salt (or more). Roll out a quarter of an inch thick and cut in strips. Bake in brisk oven.
Between the layers of a simple but sweetened biscuit dough, just before serving, pour the crushed pulp of six bananas into which has been stirred juice of one orange (or other slightly tart fruit), half a cup of sugar and the whipped white of an egg or cup of whipped cream.
THE SIMPLEST BANANA DESSERT
To eight sliced bananas add one cup of sugar, the juice of one lemon, and serve with shaved ice in tall glasses or dainty dishes, adding a teaspoonful of whipped cream or white of egg to top off each one. A little white wine may be added if desired, or a sprinkling of chopped nuts.
To one quart boiling milk add one-half cup of sugar, a pinch of salt, and three tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved in one-half cup of cold water. When it thickens, stir in the pulp of three large bananas and the stiff-beaten white of an egg. Set away to cool in a mold. Serve with thin custard sauce.
WHIPPED BANANAS RECIPE
To the pulp of five bananas add the juice of two oranges, the grated rind of one, a tablespoon of sugar, a pinch of salt, and one-fourth box gelatin dissolved in a little cold water. Chopped nuts or candied cherries may be stirred carefully in. When cooled on ice beat in lightly a pint of whipped cream or whites of two eggs and place in the mold.
LITTLE BANANA SOUFFLES
Stir juice of two lemons or other tart fruit into the mashed pulp of six bananas and rub through sieve. Add one pint whipped cream, or whipped white of egg and cream mixed, and bake briskly, serving at once, or freeze as ice cream. Raspberry or another flavoring may be added if liked.