Banana - Defined, Dishes and Recipes

Banana—Semi-tropical fruit that grow in bunches sometimes six feet in length and containing four to five hundred bananas, that, when ripe, change either to a bright yellow or purple red color.

The yellow are esteemed for their flavor, while the red are best for cooking, as they are more firm. The merchants in selling the fruit, fix the price according to the number of HANDS the bunch contains.

A hand is a section on the stalk and contains, according to the size of the fruit, from ten to twenty bananas. Bananas may be bought in a green state much cheaper than when ripe.

When bought green, the way of ripening is to hang the bunches up in a dark room, and subject them to a steady heat of seventy-five degrees.

Banana—Fruit of tropical and semi-tropical countries and is the principal food of natives of some West India islands. Exaggerated statements of the amount of nutriment contained in bananas have been circulated, shown to be fallacious by drying the fruit, which parts with 3/4 of its weight as water. Remainder is like sweet dried pumpkin.

  • Candied Bananas—Dried bananas crystallized in sugar before quite dried out.
  • Baked Bananas— Breakfast dish; split, laid in pan with butter and sugar over, baked to a state like candy.
  • Fried Bananas—Either whole or cut across, dipped in syrup, then rolled in flour and dropped into hot oil or lard till crisp outside.
  • Banana Fritters— Cut in two across, steeped in rum or any liquor or wine and sugar; drained, dipped in fritter batter and fried; rolled in powdered sugar or served with a sauce.
  • Banana Pie or Pudding—Mashed, mixed with sugar, lemon juice, butter and eggs, and baked in a dish with bottom crust of paste.
  • Banana Covered Pie—Sliced, sprinkled with lemon juice, sugar, bits of butter, moistened with wine or brandy, baked with bottom and top crust.
  • Banana Ice Cream—Two bananas, pulped, to each quart of cream. Banana Candies—Flavored with extract; also, in imitation of peeled bananas.
  • Banana Cake—Two sheets of cake, sliced bananas dipped in sweet wine laid between; banana-flavored yellow icing on top.
  • Bananas for the Table—Among the very best of fruit. They have the ends cut off, are wiped with a cloth and placed on stands in their skins.
  • Banana Ambrosia—Cut up with oranges, cocoanut, wine and sugar.
  • Banana Fritters (a)- —Mashed bananas 1 ½ bs., flour 1/4 lb., sugar 2 oz., lard 2 oz., and 1 or 2 eggs. Dropped by spoonful in. hot lard. Bananas baked are served up with baked monkey in Brazil, like our opossum with sweet potatoes.

BANANA FRITTERS—Bananas cut slantwise in halves, laid for a while in diluted brandy and sugar, then dipped in batter and fried in plenty of hot fat, taken up, drained, rolled in powdered sugar, and serve with a fruit sauce.

BANANAS BAKED—Bananas split in halves lengthwise, laid in a buttered pan, dusted with powdered sugar, browned quickly in the oven; served with a cocoanut syrup sauce.

BANANAS FRIED—Bananas split in halves lengthwise, dipped in milk, then rolled in flour, fried in clear butter to a golden brown; served with currant jelly.

BANANA COMPOTE—Bananas cut in quarters slantwise, simmered in syrup till done; served on a bed of sweetened rice, with the syrup poured over them.

BANANA ICE CREAM—Bananas peeled and rubbed through a fine sieve; added to the cream to be frozen at the rate of one pound of pulp to the gallon.

BANANA SALAD—Alternate slices of bananas, peeled oranges, and desiccated cocoanut are placed in a fruit dish till full, over which is poured enough brandy and rum mixed with sugar to just moisten the salad.

Spiced Lemon Jelly with Banana Cream Sauce

This has more character than a plain lemon jelly. A variation of this dish can be made by omitting the glacé fruit, molding in a ring mold, and heaping in the center whipped cream combined with crushed, sweetened, and drained strawberries.

Cook for five minutes one and one half cups of sugar and two and one fourth cups of water, the thin yellow rind of one and one half lemons, eight whole cloves, and a three-inch piece of stick cinnamon.

Add three and one half tablespoonfuls of gelatin softened in half a cup of cold water, and when dissolved add two thirds cup of lemon juice, one third cup of cold water, and strain. When the jelly begins to set, add these glacé fruits all cut in small pieces : two apricots, two green plums, and ten cherries.

Mold, chill, and serve with Banana Cream Sauce. Small molds are recommended which are hollowed, so that when mixture is turned out, there is a space for the sauce. The amount given makes six.

Banana Cream Sauce

Work one tablespoonful of butter until creamy, add one tablespoonful of flour, and blend well. Then add gradually, one fourth cup of sugar.

Scald one half cup of milk in a double boiler, combine mixtures and stir constantly until thickened. Then add the yolk of one egg and cook three minutes. Add one banana forced through a sieve and a pinch of salt. Chill and add one half cup of heavy cream, beaten stiff.


  • 4 bananas peeled, stringy parts removed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 egg and 1 egg-yolk, slightly beaten
  • 1 ounce butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup rich milk
  • A little grated rind of lemon

Rub the bananas through a purée strainer. Rub the butter until creamy, and gradually add the sugar; continue stirring, and add the lemon-rind and juice, the fruit pulp, eggs, and milk.

Turn into a buttered pudding mold dusted with powdered sugar, and poach as usual in a slow moderate oven until firm on top center. Serve with a Lemon Sauce, or, leaving out the sauce, cover pudding with a meringue made as directed at that recipe.


Peel 5 sound ripe bananas, remove stringy parts, and slice crosswise 1/8 of an inch thick. Boil until clear 2/3 cup of water with as much sugar.

Add half of the bananas and cook until tender. With a skimmer, remove the bananas to a bowl, and in the boiling syrup left in pan cook the remainder of the bananas until tender, lift out and put in bowl with the others.

Reduce the liquor to consistency of ordinary syrup, and pour it boiling hot over the bananas; add to syrup, if desired, a piece of lemon-rind and a teaspoon of lemon juice.


  • 1 quart cream
  • 3 cups banana pulp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Peel the bananas and rub through a purée strainer; then chill. Cook in a double boiler half of the cream with the sugar, stir until sugar is dissolved then remove and chill. Add remaining: cream and flavoring, and strain into freezer. Freeze to a mush, then stir in the fruit pulp, and continue freezing until hard.

If cream is not available, leaving out the vanilla, freeze an Artificial Vanilla Ice Cream mixture to a mush and finish as above.

Banana and Walnut Salad

Peel and cut into slices four to six ripe but firm bananas, place them in a basin, and mix carefully with half a pint of peeled walnut kernels divided into small pieces.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, and besprinkle with the juice of half a lemon. Range this neatly in a salad bowl, surmounted with a neat border of water-cress, previously washed, picked, and drained; in the centre of the salad pile one to two large tablespoonfuls of Mayonnaise dressing, and send to table.

Savory Banana Omelet

Peel four not overripe bananas, cut them into round slices (not too thin). Melt one ounce of butter in an omelet pan, when hot put in the bananas and toss them over the fire for a few minutes, then season with salt and pepper.

Break four eggs into a basin, add a tablespoonful of milk, salt and pepper to taste, and beat up well. Melt one ounce of butter in an omelet pan, pour in the egg mixture, and stir over a quick fire until the eggs begin to set, then shape into an omelet. Put the prepared bananas in the centre, fold in the sides of the omelet, and let it take color. Turn out on to a hot dish, and serve.

French Banana Tart

Roll out half a pound of rough puff or short crust paste, made with six ounces of flour, three ounces of butter, and the necessary water to mix into a fairly firm paste.

Place a pastry hoop on a baking-sheet, butter both and line with the paste, ornament the edges, and fill the shape with uncooked rice, then bake for about fifteen minutes in a moderate oven.

Take out the rice and fill the paste crusts with round slices of bananas arranged in neat layers. Besprinkle each layer of fruit with a little well- flavored fruit syrup (currant and raspberry for preference), brush over the top with well-reduced syrup, and bake for another ten minutes. Serve hot or cold.

Banana Fritters (Sweet)

Remove the skin from six not overripe bananas, cut each in half crossways, and then divide in halves lengthways. Put the bananas thus prepared into a pie-dish, sprinkle with castor sugar, a little ground cinnamon, and a liqueur - glass of kirsch or maraschino.

Allow to stand for about fifteen minutes. Have ready some frying batter. Coat each piece of banana with batter and drop into very hot frying fat. When of a golden color and crisp, take up and drain the fritters on a cloth or paper. Dish up, dredge with fine sugar, and serve hot.

Baked Banana Custard

Break four fresh eggs separately into a basin, add one ounce of castor sugar and beat up thoroughly, then add the pulp of three ripe bananas and one pint of milk. Pour this into one large or two smaller buttered pie-dishes, grate over a little nutmeg or powdered cinnamon, and bake slowly in a moderately heated oven for about twenty-five minutes. Dish up and serve hot.

Meringues with Banana Cream

Whisk stiffly three to four whites of eggs, then stir in carefully three to four ounces of very fine castor sugar. Shape the mixture into meringues by the help of a tablespoon or a Savoy forcing-bag on to a meringue board or baking-sheet lined with paper.

Dust the shapes with fine sugar, and bake in a very cool oven till the meringues are firm and crisp and of a light-fawn color. Press in the bottom of each and place them on a tray to cool.

Whip up one gill of cream, peel two to three ripe bananas, rub them through a sieve, sweeten to taste, and add a few drops of vanilla essence, then mix with the whipped cream and fill the meringue shells. Place each two together, and dish up.

Banana Soufflé

Peel four ripe bananas, slice them and rub through a sieve. Melt one ounce of butter in a stew-pan, stir in three-quarters of an ounce of flour, and cook a little ; add one gill of milk, and stir over the fire until it leaves the sides of the pan clean.

Remove from the fire and add by deerees three yolks of eggs, beat the mixture well, and stir in the banana pulp, also one ounce of castor sugar, and lastly the stiffly whisked whites of three eggs.

Turn into a fireproof soufflé dish, and bake for about thirty minutes. Place the dish on another hot dish, dredge with sugar, and serve quickly.

Banana Omelet

Peel four not overripe bananas, cut them into round slices (not too thin). Melt one ounce of butter in an omelet pan; when hot, put in the bananas and toss over the fire for a few minutes, then sweeten with castor sugar.

Break four fresh eggs into a basin, add a tablespoonful of milk and a teaspoonful of sugar, and beat up well. Melt an ounce of butter in an omelet pan, pour in the egg mixture, and stir over a quick fire till the eggs begin to set, then shape into an omelet.

Put the prepared banana in the centre, fold in the sides of the omelet, and let it take color; then turn out on to a hot dish, dredge with sugar, glaze, and serve.

Banana Amber Pudding

Peel six bananas and mash them up finely into a pulp. Line the edges of a pie-dish with rings of short crust or puff paste. Boil up one pint of milk with two ounces of loaf sugar, and pour over two eggs beaten up. Stir well and add the banana pulp.

Mix one ounce of corn flour with a little cold milk, stir this over the fire till thick, and incorporate with the above. Pour into the pie-dish, previously buttered.

Whisk stiffly the white of an egg, sweeten with a tablespoonful of castor sugar, and spread it roughly over the top of the pudding, then bake in a moderately heated oven for about twenty minutes. Dish up and serve hot.

Jellied Banana Mould

Coat the inside of a quart-size jelly mold with a thin layer of lemon jelly, decorate the bottom and sides with round slices of ripe bananas, the centre of which should be stamped out, and the cavities filled with angelica or glacé cherries.

Soak half an ounce of gelatin in a pint of water for ten minutes, then put it in a stew-pan with three ounces of loaf-sugar, the thin rind of half a lemon and its juice ; stir over the fire until dissolved and let boil for ten minutes, then strain into a basin, and stir in three tablespoonfuls of banana pulp and a glass of sherry.

When sufficiently cool, add half a pint of whipped cream, and whisk for a few minutes. Lastly, mix in three thinly sliced ripe bananas. Turn this into the prepared mold, and place in the cool to set and remove from mold, and serve on a cold dish.

Banana Blanc-Mange

Boil up three-quarters of a pint of milk with two ounces of loaf- sugar in a stew-pan. Soak half an ounce of gelatin in a little water, dissolve, and strain into the milk.

Mix half an ounce of corn flour with a gill of milk and stir over the fire till thick, then pour on the above and cook for a few minutes whilst stirring. Strain, and let cool, then stir in a gill of whipped cream, ten drops of vanilla essence, and four ripe bananas peeled and rubbed through a sieve.

Turn into a jelly mold and let set. Remove from the mold and place the shape on to a cold dish, and serve with preserved fruit.

Banana and Macaroon Custard

Crush finely half-a-dozen macaroons, put them in a pie-dish, and pour over a glass of sherry or marsala. Boil up one pint of milk sweetened with one tablespoonful of castor sugar.

Pour this slowly on to four beaten yolks of eggs, return to the pan, and stir over the fire until the custard begins to bind, i.e. thicken, then stir in the soaked macaroons and the pulp of four ripe bananas.

Allow to cool a little, and pour it into a glass dish. Decorate the top with strips of angelica and halves of glacé cherries.

Banana and Tapioca Sponge

Peel and slice six not overripe bananas, put them in a stew-pan with two ounces of loaf-sugar and one gill of water, and cook for about ten minutes, then add the juice of half a lemon and rub through a sieve.

Boil up one pint of milk and stir in two ounces of very fine tapioca. Sweeten to taste and cook whilst stirring for about twenty minutes.

To this add the banana pulp, reheat, and stir or fold in the stiffly whisked whites of two eggs. Stir till nearly cold, then pour into a glass dish, pile up high, and serve cold.

This dish is equally nice if served hot. Some whipped cream, slightly sweetened, served with this dish, makes an excellent accompaniment.

Banana Sauce

Sauce Bananes

Take four ripe bananas, remove the skins and pound the fruit, then mix it with the pulp of three oranges, one large or two small good cooking apples sliced, two ounces castor sugar, the peel of one lemon, and two bay leaves, add two gills of water, and boil together for about fifteen minutes.

Mix with a dessertspoonful of Marshall’s Crème de Riz that has been mixed with half a gill of water, color with a saltspoonful of apricot yellow, and a few drops of carmine, add a wineglass of Marshall’s Noyeau Syrup and half a wineglass of Silver Rays (white) Rum, rub through a tammy, rewarm, and mix with it a few blanched and shredded pistachio nuts, and use with hot puddings, cakes etc.

Banana Purée

Pound four or five fresh bananas with one and a half ounces of castor sugar, the juice and pulp of two oranges, and three tablespoons of thick apricot jam, color with a few drops of carmine and a little apricot yellow; then rub through a fine hair sieve, warm in the Bain-Marie, flavor with a tablespoonful of Maraschino, the same of brandy, and use for cakes and puddings; this can also be used ice-cold.

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