A thick yet fluffy pancake full of creamy bananas, smooth hints of pear, and crunchy pine nuts over a heap of cool crème fraîche. “This is good with any ripe banana,” Mallmann says, so if you have extra-sweet varieties besides the ubiquitous Cavendish available, use them.
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- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 1 cup AP flour
- 1⁄2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp. melted butter
- 6 small, ripe bananas, peeled, split in half, lengthwise
- 1 ripe pears, quartered, seeds removed
- 5 tbsp. butter, divided
- 4 tbsp. light brown sugar
- 1 cup crème fraiche
- 1⁄2 cup pine nuts, toasted
Preheat an oven to 375°F and melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium cast iron skillet. When the foam begins to subside and the butter is hot, sauté the pear quarters, about 6 minutes per cut side, until they are caramelized and tender. Set the pear slices aside and wipe any excess butter out of the pan with paper towels.
Return the skillet to medium high heat and add one fresh tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of brown sugar. Stir the butter and sugar to combine as it begins to caramelize. Place 3 banana halves, cut side down, in the caramel to begin cooking.
When the bananas are evenly browned, about 6 minutes, carefully position them in a triangle with their ends overlapping by about half an inch. Slowly ladle about ½ cup of batter into the banana triangle. Place 1 piece of pear in the center of each gratin, cut side down, and then transfer the whole skillet into the oven. Bake for 4-6 minutes, until the pancake batter springs back when pressed with a finger and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Invert the pancake onto a serving plate, wipe out the skillet, and continue cooking the remaining bananas in this manner. Serve the gratins with with crème fraiche and toasted pine nuts.