There was a time my family lived in a house with a big garden filled with fruit trees: avocado, orange, lemon, lime, blackberry, papaya, passion fruit, guava, jaboticaba, and one of my favorites, banana. In the U.S., a single type of bananas dominates, but in Brazil we have 5 delicious kinds: nanica (dwarf), prata (lady's finger), da terra (plantain), ouro (sugar), maçã (apple or silk).
All year around we had fresh fruit in our backyard, and one of my family traditions was never to waste them, so besides just picking and eating them we would make smoothies, jams, jelly, preserves, spreads, compotes, never to waste a fruit even when it got overripe.
Every week we buy bananas, but sometimes we buy too many and if they get overripe no one wants to eat them, and that's what happened this week, so naturally, I followed my family tradition and made this banana compote this morning. It's easy, and it's delicious with vanilla ice cream.
I made this recipe with only 6 bananas because that's what I had, but you can always adapt the ingredient quantities depending on how many bananas you are going to use.
Caramelized Banana Compote
♥ 6 ripe organic bananas
♥ 1 cup demerara sugar
♥ lime juice of half lime
♥ 3-4 drops pure vanilla extract (some people use cinnamon, or clove extract)
Slice the bananas. Bring enough water to cover the bananas to boil; place the sliced bananas in the water and turn the heat to medium low and let them cook; don't stir and don't cover the pan.
When it foams up drain the bananas and place them in a plate; squeeze the lime juice on top of them so they don't get black.
Place the sugar in a saucepan over low heat stirring constantly until it is crumbly. Pour a cup of boiling water into the pan and stir until the sugar dissolves. Voilá, you have just made some syrup. ♥ Always be careful not to spill boiling water on yourself when you pour it over the crumbly sugar.
Add the bananas into the syrup, and then the vanilla extract, cover the pan and let it cook slowly to a gentle boil for about 15 minutes. Once the mixture is getting thick stir it until it reaches a paste-like texture. The compote does not need to be too thick as it will thicken once out of the heat.
Top it with vanilla ice cream and savor it slowly.