School started this week in Hillsborough County. That’s a hallmark event that has various meanings.
To some frazzled mothers and caretakers, it means a break from constant sibling bickering, complaints of, “I’m bored," and schedules gone awry.
To others, it heralds football season: a Southern institution. It reminds us that fall is just around the corner.
Fall in central Florida is hardly recognizable. We don’t see much color in leaves. The weather will continue to be scorching hot for months. But, at least we know it’s on the way. We hope.
I’ve lived in the Deep South my entire life. The first time I had an air-conditioned classroom was in college. In grades one through 12, that meant weeks of sitting in rooms that were cooled only by opened windows and large floor fans. Somehow those fans always wound up being turned toward the teacher and not the entire room. We always started school after Labor Day. It still would be six weeks before we noticed any relief from the heat.
While we’re still battling the heat, I wanted to share a recipe for a rich sweet treat that doesn’t require any cooking. You don’t even have to boil anything on your stove-top. The dessert is put together in three phases and then it’s placed in the fridge where it lives. If you don’t like banana splits, and I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t, this might not be for you. The dessert tastes like a banana split. That’s how it got its name.
Banana Split Cake
This isn’t a cake at all. I’m not sure why we call it that. Well, some folks call it Banana Split Dessert or Banana Split Pie. My people and I call it Banana Split Cake. It’s a no-bake dessert that is perfect for our summers. We can have our sweet treats without turning on our ovens.
My original recipe had raw eggs in the filling and I made it that way for years. With the growing concern about salmonella in raw eggs, I’ve modified the filling portion by taking out the eggs and adding cream cheese along with some additional ingredient adjustments. No more salmonella worries. Plus, anyone with immune compromise can’t eat raw eggs.
4 cups crushed graham crackers
1 stick butter, melted
2 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
16-ounce box powdered sugar
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla flavoring
20-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
3 – 4 bananas, sliced
12-ounce container whipped topping
1 small jar maraschino cherries
1 cup chopped pecans
Crush graham crackers. Melt butter and mix with graham cracker crumbs. Press into a 13×9 baking dish.
Cream softened butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar and beat until creamy. Add vanilla and mix well. Spread over crust. Slice bananas on top. Add drained pineapples.
Spread whipped topping. Add chopped cherries and pecans to top. Chill overnight before slicing.
Syrup and Biscuits was honored this week by being named the winner of Southern Food Network’s 2011 Reader’s Choice Award. I am grateful for all the support, encouragement and goodness that has come from the Syrup and Biscuits community. Not only do we have friends throughout the United States, we are read by people in over 30 countries. Who would ever have imagined that so many people would be interested in something named after a meager Southern breakfast?
And now I want to hear from you. Do you have a recipe that you’d like to see featured in this column? If so, submit your recipe for consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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