Hello, Savor St. Croix fans! My name is Lexi Bentley-LaGreca and I am honored to be a guest contributor on this wonderful blog! I cannot say how much I love St. Croix and the Virgin Islands in general. Let me give you a little back-story before I share my fun recipe. My dad got his pilot’s license and moved us to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. I was in 6th grade with my first boyfriend and HATED this idea. Little did I know, it was the best decision of my life!
We lived at Carambola Golf Course, Estate Mount Washington, Plantation in Frederiksted and also Villa Madeline on the east end. My dad worked as a pilot for Seaborne Airlines for a while and then my parents bought Cane Bay Beach Bar. I have SO many awesome memories with our Cane Bay crew, but one of my favorites is brunch at Cane Bay with Queenie! Queenie was the cook and boy was she THE BEST! No one can compare to Mama Queenie’s cooking!
My favorite food was banana rum pancakes. I decided to re-create these pancakes and make a bananas foster-like topping instead of syrup. This is more like a dessert, but who cares–you make it whenever you feel necessary! I think living on St. Croix started my passion for good food and cooking. I have been to many places and no where has the food been quite like my little slice of paradise in the sun. What an awesome childhood to be blessed with! How wonderful to be able to pick fresh star fruit (also known as carambola), passion fruit, coconuts and mangos! I will always call St. Croix home and hope to return one day when my children are older.
Some of my recommendations when visiting St. Croix are:
1) Mt Pellier Domino Club (Visit Norma for her famous Mama Juana and beer-drinking pigs!)
3)Carambola Beach Resort and Spa **Hike to Annaly Bay (MY FAVORITE)
5)Cane Bay (some of the best scuba diving in the WORLD
6) Shopping in Christiansted
7)Hike to Jack and Isaac’s Bay and Point Udall
9) Pier jumping in Frederiksted (also Sunset Jazz!)
10) Horse Back riding with Stephen, Jill or Cruzan Cow Girls!
Now for my recipe!
Ingredients: 2 & 1/3 Cup Buttermilk Pancake Mix (I like Trader Joes but any brand will do) 1 Egg 1 Cup Water 2 & 1/2 TBSP Coconut or Banana Rum (Cruzan of course!) 1 TSP Banana Flavoring Splash of Vanilla Extract 3 Very Ripe Bananas (mashed) 1 TSP Dark Brown Sugar For topping: 1/2 Stick Unsalted Butter 1/3 Cup Dark Brown Sugar 1-2 TBSP Half and Half 2 Ripe Banana’s Sliced in 1 inch chunks 1/4 cup Cruzan 9 Spiced Rum
Directions:1) In a large mixing bowl, stir together 2 cups of pancake mix, water, oil and egg. Stir until smooth and add coconut rum vanilla, banana flavoring, and vanilla extract.Now add in remaining 1/3 cup of pancake mix, brown sugar and mashed bananas.
2)Preheat your skillet or pan to 350 degrees and butter liberally. Next add 1/2 cup pancake mix (2 at a time) to the skillet. Cook for about 2-3 min until you see little bubbles in the pancake and flip. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Continue until you have 6 large pancakes!
3)On medium heat- melt 1/2 stick butter in a cast iron skillet until light brown, whisking constantly being careful not to burn. Next add your brown sugar to the pan and stir until well blended. Next add the half and half and whisk together. Now add in your bananas. Stir them into this creamy mixture and try not to drool 😉
4) Now comes the fun part! Turn the heat off and carefully add 1/8-1/4 cup of spiced rum to the skillet. Now take a grill lighter and light the rum, stand back and let the rum cook out – mine took about 1-2 min. Please be SUPER cautious when you do this step! Top your pancakes with this deliciousness and there ya go!
I hope you enjoy my recipe, please visit the Virgin Islands and when you are away, remember to order your island favorites from Savor St. Croix!