Banana Caramel Ice Cream







Whenever I make homemade ice cream, my husband begins dropping hints about cookies.  He loves to eat ice cream in the form of an ice cream cookie sandwich, so yesterday I also made a batch of big, chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, similar to this recipe, but with chocolate chips instead of nuts and raisins.

For the ice cream, I started by caramelizing bananas in butter and brown sugar, then finished them with a splash of bourbon, which hissed and created quite a fuss when it hit the hot skillet.  I pureed most of the caramelized bananas, but left some chunky, to add to my standard ice cream custard base.

After churning the ice cream, I dropped in spoonfuls of homemade salted caramel sauce and swirled it throughout.  It was this moment - the moment where you can wait no longer to taste - that we both had to sample several spoonfuls and decided that this really is the most incredible ice cream.

It's everything I want with its chunky but creamy texture, the salty and sweet notes of almost-burnt caramel, the freshness of the bananas with the rich flavor of egg yolks, cream and butter.

This is an ice cream that says goodbye to winter and welcomes the fresh air of spring with open arms.








Note:
I like my ice cream on the soft side, and I think this ice cream is better when, after having frozen until firm, you let it soften at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before scooping.


Banana Caramel Ice Cream
printable

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 firm bananas
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon or whiskey
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup salted caramel sauce
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Peel and slice the bananas into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Place the banana slices in a single layer in the hot butter and sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons brown sugar.  Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until browned and caramelized.

Remove from the heat, add the bourbon and swirl around.  Scrape 2/3 of the mixture into a food processor and pulse until smooth (note, puree all of the bananas for a smoother texture, otherwise, leave some un-pureed for some frozen chunks of banana throughout the ice cream).  Set aside.

In a saucepan, combine the cream and milk.  In a bowl, whisk together the 1/3 cup brown sugar, egg yolks and salt.  Warm the milk/cream over medium low heat until hot to the touch.  Whisk 1 cup of the hot cream into the egg mixture, then scrape the warmed egg mixture into the saucepan.  Cook the custard while whisking constantly, until thickened enough to coat a spoon.  Remove from the heat and pour through a mesh strainer to remove any bits of cooked egg.  Whisk in the vanilla and bananas.  Cover with plastic wrap, resting right against the surface of the custard, and refrigerate until completely chilled, preferably overnight.

Churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer's instructions for your ice cream maker.  Scrape into a chilled container, drizzle with the caramel, and swirl it throughout.  Freeze until firm, about 4-6 hours.

Yields about 2 quarts

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen