Back to bananas

And not a moment too soon.

I can't say who's to blame, but a gaggle of bananas appeared on the counter overnight. I watched them progress from greenish yellow to golden to spotted brown before – quite literally – whisking them away to a better place.

A little pecan dust does wonders.

Banana Pecan Upside Down Cake

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tablespoons water
3 medium-sized bananas
1/2 cup pecan halves
Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 cup mashed banana (about 2 medium bananas)
1/2 cup sour cream, regular or low-fat
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pecan dust

To prepare the topping, mix the brown sugar and water together in an 8-inch cast iron skillet. Heat the mixture until it begins to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

While the caramel is cooling, toast 1 cup of pecans either on a baking sheet in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven or in a frying pan over medium heat on the stovetop. Set aside 1/2 cup of pecan halves. Use a food processor to grind the remaining pecans into a fine meal (make sure to stop before you have pecan butter!).

Once the caramel is cool, slice the 3 bananas on an angle into 1/4-inch slices. Arrange the bananas and 1/2 cup of pecan halves in rows on top of the caramel, overlapping them slightly. Squeeze the lemon juice over the bananas.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir in the granulated sugar. In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, egg, egg white, mashed banana, sour cream and vanilla.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients just until combined. Fold in the pecan dust. Carefully spread the batter over the bananas and bake for 40 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes. Loosen the edges of the cake from the pan and invert onto a serving platter.

Source: A nuttier, but less chocolate-y, variation on David Lebovitz's Banana-Chocolate Chip Upside Down Cake.