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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Worth the Bother?

This creamy popsicle is reminiscent of Bananas Foster.
Asado Paleta Plátano 
I discovered this recipe for baked banana ice pops in Paletas by Fany Gerson.  I had made paletas previously with bananas as an ingredient and on reading these instructions, I wondered "Why bother?"  Bananas are naturally sweet and squishy when ripe; what could be enhanced by adding extra steps?  In the wilderness wander of the last eight months, I have searched for purpose, wrestling with the "whys?" in life.  That's how the bananas got roasted.  

To say they look unappetizing coming out of the oven would be flattering.  The skin turns an unappealing shade of brown and they weep a thin milky liquid that escapes the foil wrapping.  The bananas must be cooled before adding cream, sugar, cinnamon and rum.  Compared to the usual procedure of cutting fresh fruit and simply adding a bit of sugar and lime, these paletas asados del plátano are a pain to prepare.  What could compel when a shortcut would do?

In extending hospitality, a hostess gifts guests with attention to their needs.  Food preferences are noted and in pursuing a visitor's pleasure, few recipes are too complex to be dismissed.  Like the bananas in this method, I've experienced heat and tears while cooking under pressure of dinner guests, but purpose is present in the delights I create for company in Cindy's Cozy Kitchen.  Grace is extended when guests are nurtured.  Tasters realize roasted banana paletas represent love on a popsicle stick.   That's why I bother.

Fill Molds and Add Cinnamon Stick

Roasted Banana Paleta Recipe
adapted from Paletas by Fany Gerson

3- 4 ripe bananas
1/8 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 t pure vanilla extract
1 t freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 t ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 T dark rum (optional)
6 cinnamon sticks

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Wrap the bananas with skin still on individually in foil.  Roast until cooked through and soft, about 30 minutes.

Let sit until cool enough to handle.  Put the flesh of bananas in a bowl and mash lightly with a fork.  Add brown sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Place the banana mixture in Cuisinart with milk, cream, vanilla, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt and rum.  Pulse until smooth.  Cool slightly and refrigerate until chilled.  Pour into molds, freeze 1 1/2 hours until mixture thickens, insert cinnamon sticks.  Freeze 4-6 hours total.

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