One large sundae,
1 to 2 servings
I don't know how anyone can eat one of these by themselves; I certainly can't. But that's OK, because it just means that I'll grab a friend and another spoon, and the dessert will vanish nicely. Banana splits are great, in part because they are endlessly adaptable. You can select the ice cream and topping flavors you like, as long as they go together. I tend to go for rather more chocolate than the norm in my banana splits, as you might guess, and that's usually in the ice cream. For example, I often use a scoop of plain chocolate (or chocolate chocolate chip) in the middle of the sundae, flanked on either side by a scoop of chocolate chip.
There are a few requirements, of course. You really do need a banana, and it must be ripe to whatever degree you like. You don't need to go out and buy banana split dishes—use whatever you have that will hold the banana and ice cream (that means your dish must be good-sized, and it must have sides). Use good-quality ice cream and toppings, and lightly sweetened whipped cream is a necessity as a garnish. Make sure all of your components are at hand and ready to go before you get the ice cream out of the freezer. And, once the banana split is made, serve it immediately!
1 ripe banana
3 scoops good-quality ice cream,
slightly softened (your choice of flavors)
2 to 3 Tbsp. Raspberry Topping, warm or cold
2 to 3 Tbsp. good-quality caramel
or butterscotch topping, slightly warmed
2 to 3 Tbsp. hot fudge sauce, slightly warmed
Lightly sweetened whipped cream
A maraschino cherry or two
Rinse and dry the banana, then peel it. Split the banana in half vertically (the long way), and place each half on an opposite side of your dish, seed side in. Working quickly, place three scoops of ice cream in a row, between the banana halves. Top each scoop with a different topping.
Garnish the banana split with lightly sweetened whipped cream (use it judicially here—you don't want to cover up too much of the pretty effect of the toppings over the ice creams). Sprinkle the whipped cream lightly with chocolate sprinkles, then top with a maraschino cherry or two. Serve immediately!
1 generous cup
Crammed with berries and not too sweet, this topping has a gorgeous red color. It's easy to make, but it won't keep for more than a day or so after you've made it.
1 cup fresh raspberries, preferably small,
picked over (this is most of a half-pint container)
1/2 cup (about 6 ozs.) good-quality red currant jelly
2 tsp. black raspberry liqueur
1/2 to 1 tsp. (or to taste) freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Do not wash berries, but pick them over, discarding any that are moldy or too soft. Place berries in small heatproof bowl.
In small, nonreactive saucepan, over medium heat, heat jelly just to boiling, stirring often. Remove from heat; stir in liqueur and 1/2 tsp. lemon juice. Pour hot mixture over berries and gently fold the two together with a rubber spatula until berries are well coated. Cool slightly, then taste, adding more lemon juice if desired.
Serve warm or cold. Store any leftovers in refrigerator. Stir gently before serving.
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This page originally created in 1998 and modified October 2007
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