“I want to sit down, and I want to laugh. Nothing works better for me than watching somebody slip on a banana peel. “~ Diane Lane
To say that I hate bananas is a gross understatement. For those of you who know me, you know that I loathe bananas. I despise bananas. I am utterly repulsed by bananas. They smell. The consistency is disgusting. And the sound they make when people eat them? Uch. Fuggedaboutit. And what’s worse? A rotten banana.
Each year for The Husband’s birthday I make him chocolate chip banana bread. It’s a labor of love. I pinch my nose the entire time while baking it, and each time, he calls me a baby. I swear that I am allergic to bananas. In fact, sometimes I tell people that I have a very serious banana allergy just so that I don’t have to explain that I actually dislike bananas.
This year, The Husband turned the big 3o. I’ve been prepping myself for this day for years and as his “much younger wife” it’s my duty to remind him, day in and day out, just how old he has become (and just how young I remain!) As a special treat for his birthday I decided to make an outrageous triple-layer chocolate peanut butter cake (it was breathtaking!) with none other than…drumroll please…banana ice cream.
Now that’s love!
To make this banana ice cream I used two uber-rotten bananas, and two fresh ones. The combination was perfect, and really mimicked the taste of banana bread. (Or so I’ve been told — this is actually the first ice cream that I have not tasted, so technically I cannot vouch for it’s quality). To further enhance the banana flavor I caramelized the bananas first – and again, I’ve been told by the royal taste-testers that this was well worth it. While I’d love to add my own personal opinion of this ice cream, I will never, ever taste it. Mark my word. You’ll just have to trust The Husband and our friends who ate this ice cream. They seemed to like it, a lot, and I think you will too.
Caramelized Banana Ice Cream
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker and David Lebovitz
2 yellow bananas
2 brown bananas
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbs butter
1 1/2 cups cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
Cut the four bananas into small discs. The very ripe bananas will not cut as cleanly, that’s fine, just break into small pieces. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the bananas in it. Sprinkle with brown sugar and chopped butter. Toss well with hands and bake for 35-40 minutes until the bananas get very soft and begin to roast and caramelize.
While the bananas are cooking combine the cream, whole milk, and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Whisk until small bubbles begin to form around the edges. Remove from heat and set aside.
Whisk together the three egg yolks, slowly adding in the white sugar until the egg yolks thicken and become pale yellow. Slowly temper the eggs by pouring the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, stirring in between each pour.
At this point, the bananas should be done roasting. Remove them from the oven and set aside.
Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the medium saucepan and heat until it reaches 170 degrees and the eggs are fully cooked. If you don’t have a candy thermometer the mixture is cooked when it is thick enough to coat the back of a spatula or wooden spoon.
Next, add the bananas into the milk mixture. Stir thoroughly to break up the small banana pieces. Transfer to a blender and puree until the mixture is smooth. Let the banana ice cream base chill completely before refrigerating for at least two hours.
Transfer the fully chilled mixture into the base of an ice cream maker, and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions, approximately 20 minutes. When it’s done, freeze for at least 2 hours to firm up, or enjoy “soft serve” straight out of the machine.
The Verdict: I asked The Husband what to write here – after all, I never tasted this flavor, so how could I know. In his words, “this $hit is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S”. Enjoy!