Skillet Banana Cake
Many afternoons were spent down at the Jarrell’s house, playing with Brian (he had more games on his Atari 2600 than I did) or in the small thicket of woods between our houses where he and I built a three-level tree house (It sounds much more elaborate than the actual reality). Another advantage to hanging around the Jarrell house rested in the fact that Sharon Jarrell (pictured above) was a fantastic cook. In fact, she was well known for her cooking, often catering events and publishing her own cookbooks.
Recently, I was going through some recipes that we simply categorize as “family recipes.” When you live next to someone long enough, they count as family. This particular recipe of Sharon’s caught my eye because it specifically called for an “old iron skillet.” I had never made the recipe and couldn’t even remember if I’d ever had it before. Kathy and I have made it twice in the last month or so, and I can only tell you that it is incredible. It tastes wonderful hot out of the oven or cold out of the refrigerator.
Sadly, Sharon Jarrell is no longer physically with us, but she left behind a rich cooking legacy, and I remember her whenever I make any of her recipes such as the one below.
CAST IRON REQUIRED:
- an “old” 10.25” cast iron skillet (if yours is not old, a new cast iron skillet will work just fine).
- a second, smaller skillet (or sauce pan)
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon soda
- 4 tablespoons buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1 stick butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup mashed banana
Mix all ingredients together and pour into old iron skillet. Bake at 350º for about 30 minutes.
While the cake is baking, get the topping ready.
- 1 cup pecans - (slightly toasted)
- 5 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons cream or evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Bring all topping ingredients to a boil.
Pour over cake when it comes out of the oven. Return to oven and broil to bubbling. Watch to keep from burning.
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Feel free to leave your thoughts or ask questions in the comments below, or you can contact Rick directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.