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Banana Brown Betty

When most of us think of banana sweets, vanilla wafer, banana pudding, and banana splits are at the top of the list. But, this banana Brown Betty dessert has it all: soft bananas flavored with rum and crunchy, buttery bread crumbs on top.

This timeless dessert combines flavors that have been popular for generations- all in a soft and tasty texture. Serve this one alongside some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for a decadent treat perfect for any season.

Brown Betty was first mentioned in print in the mid-1800s as an apple dessert, sometimes flavored with flowers and lemon. While the origins of this home-grown dessert aren’t well known, it has since become an American classic. This version uses bananas and rum for a tropical taste that’s rich and sweet.

The key to this dessert is ripe bananas. You’ll need 4 of them for this recipe. The bananas get mashed into a cooked pudding flavored with vanilla and rum extracts. This forms the base of the dessert.

Banana Brown Betty

On top of the banana-and-rum pudding is a buttered bread crumb mixture that bakes to a heavenly, crisp topping in the oven.

Served with a smooth vanilla ice cream to cut the deep rum flavor, this style of Brown Betty is a real crowd-pleaser. And, if you have picky folks who don’t love rum then leave it out- it will still be incredibly delicious.

Banana Brown Betty

Makes 9 servings

25m prep time

36m cook time

284 calories

Rated 4.3 out of 5
Rated by 3 reviewers

Allergens: Milk, Wheat, Gluten

For the filling:
  • 4 just-ripe bananas, sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
For the topping:
  • 2 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for serving (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. In a large bowl beat together eggs, sugar, cornstarch, flour, and salt. Set aside. Pour milk into a saucepan and bring to a simmer on low. Whisk a few tablespoons of the hot milk into the egg mixture. Then slowly add the egg mixture to the saucepan. Cook for 1 minute more whisking constantly.
  2. Remove from heat and continue to stir for another minute. Stir in extracts and ripe bananas and then pour this into a 9”x9” (or 2 1/2 quart) baking dish.
  3. In a blender of food processor combine topping ingredients and pulse until a sandy mixture forms and and butter is evenly distributed. Sprinkle over banana custard and bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.

Recipe adapted from My Recipes.

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