4 tablespoons butter, softened
½ cup packed light brown sugar
10-12 slices white sandwch bread, cut in fourths, crusts trimmed
5 firm-ripe bananas, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
1 dozen large eggs
2 cups half and half
¼ cup banana liqueur* optional
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 recipe Pecan Sauce (recipe follows)
Preheat the oven to broil.
In a small mixing bowl combine 3 tablespoons of the butter and the brown sugar. Sprinkle the sugar butter mixture evenly over the bottom of an 8½-by-8 ½-inch square metal baking pan. Lay the banana slices in one even layer over the bottom of the pan. Dot the remaining tablespoon of butter over the bananas. Broil the bananas and sugar in the oven until the sugar is melted and the bananas are caramelized, 8 to 9 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the pan to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, banana liqueur (if desired) and cinnamon.
1½ cups sugar
¼ cup water
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons bourbon or dark rum, optional
Add sugar and water to a 2-quart or larger heavy-bottomed sauce pan, do not worry about mixing, and set over medium high heat. Cook sugar without disturbing (swirling pan occasionally is OK) until deep amber in color and fragrant, usually 10 to 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and, in two parts, vigorously whisk in heavy cream -- Be Careful, as the hot caramel will splatter. Once heavy cream is fully incorporated, return saucepan to heat and add pecans. Do not worry if caramel clumps around the whisk -- it will melt into the sauce. Cook until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes longer, and whisk in butter, salt, vanilla and bourbon (if desired). Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool.