- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup packed (3 1/2 ounces) dark brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 strip lemon zest, 1 to 2 inches long by about 1 1/2 inch wide
- 2 large, firm, ripe bananas, peeled and halved lengthwise and then crosswise
- 4 tablespoons dark rum
- 1 pint vanilla ice cream, divided among four bowls
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon stick, and lemon zest; stir to dissolve the sugar, about 1 minute. (If the heat is too high, the butter and sugar will separate instead of combining to form a sauce.)
Add the bananas and spoon some sauce over each piece. Cook until the bananas are glossy and golden on the bottom, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn the bananas and continue cooking until they are very soft but not mushy or falling apart, about 1 1/2 more minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the rum and wait until the rum has warmed slightly, about 5 seconds. Wave a lit match over the pan until the rum ignites, shaking the pan to distribute the flame over the entire pan. When the flames subside (this will take 15 to 30 seconds), divide the bananas and sauce among the four bowls of ice cream and serve.
NOTE: While the bananas cook, scoop the ice cream into individual bowls so they are ready to go once the sauce has been flambeed. Before flambeing, make sure to roll up long shirt sleeves, tie back long hair, turn off the exhaust fan (otherwise the fan may pull the flames up), and turn off any lit burners (this is critical if you have a gas stove).