Banana Crumble

The banana is really a berry, just long and curved. The word banana is thought to be of West African origin, possibly from the Wolof tribe word banaana. It is also been conjectured that bananas were the fruit in the Garden of Eden. Bananas were introduced to the Americas by Portuguese sailors who brought the fruits from West Africa in the 16th century. The Cavendish banana is the most familiar as it is in every supermarket and is known as a dessert banana. It is usually eaten raw. Plaintains, distinctly different in texture from the dessert bananas, are eaten cooked. Cooking bananas are a major starchy food source in the tropics-baked in their skin, deep fried fritters, made into jam, sauteed in butter, steamed in their leaves with rice. In all the important festivals and occasions of Hindu India, the serving of bananas plays a prominent part. In 2007, banana peel powder was tested as a means of filtration for heavy metals occurring in water produced by the nuclear and fertilizer industries. When added and thoroughly mixed, the powder can remove roughly 65% of heavy metals.
You wont often see a recipe for a tropical fruit banana crisp. When you make a Banana Crumble, you want the banana to be firm-ripe as far as being a nice bright yellow without any green on it or any signs of starting to over ripen so it can hold its shape after baking.

Crumble Topping
1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup flour
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
3/4 cup pecans, toasted
Fruit Layer
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup light or brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
6 medium size bananas, cut into chunks about an inch long (not thin slices)
Vanilla Ice Cream or Whipped Topping, for serving
For the Crumble Topping
Combine all the topping ingredients (except pecans) in a medium size bowl and work them together with your fingers until they become crumbly. Add the toasted pecans to the bowl. Stir to mix. Refrigerate the topping while you make the filling. You can keep the filling a month in the freezer, so you can make ahead or make double.
For the Fruit Layer
In a 10- inch cast iron skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over low heat. Add the brown sugar and stir until it dissolves about 3 minutes. It will become a wet looking mass of sugar that slides around the pan. Stir in the cinnamon and salt. Add the orange juice, be careful it will sizzle up and splatter a little bit. Cook about one minute until it thickens slight
Add the banana chunks and toss gently until they are coated. Spread the bananas and sauce out evenly in the pan. Remove the skillet from the stove, sprinkle the topping evenly over the bananas. Put the skillet in a 350 degree preheated oven and bake until topping is golden brown about 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan about 10 minutes before topping with vanilla ice cream or Whipped cream. Serves 6