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Once again, I found myself with almost a full hand of bananas that had passed the point of no return. I'm extremely particular with bananas. I only peel and eat bananas while the ends are still tinged with green and the flesh tastes slightly tart and tannic—once the spots creep in, they're way too sweet and it's bakin' time. In my warm climate, this only takes a day or two.
To the rescue is a tropical fruit crisp. This dessert evokes the silky caramelized bananas and boozy sweetness of the New Orleans classic Bananas Foster. Even if you don't normally associate bananas with fruit crisps, you should give this a try. Because if you're in the mood for something warm and gooey, this recipe is your one-stop ticket there.
Ripe bananas bake up quite well in a crisp. The slices soften further in the butter and brown sugar while still keeping their integrity. To cut through all the sweetness, three shots of bourbon are drizzled over the fruit. It's all topped off with a generous layer of oat streusel that's chock full of crunchy walnuts. The fact that this crisp doesn't take long to bake, as the bananas are already quite supple, is great news for bourbon lovers like myself—even after baking there's plenty of bourbon flavor that remains. To reap the silkiest fruit texture and to allow the sauce to thicken, this crisp is best served warm, not piping hot.
About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of the new cookbook One Bowl Baking: Simple From Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts (Running Press, October 2013), and available at Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Powell's, The Book Depository. Watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. Follow her Chocoholic, Chicken Dinners, Singapore Stories and One Bowl Baking columns on Serious Eats. Follow Yvonne on Twitter as she explores Singapore.