Sunday, July 3, 2011

Roasted Banana Ice Cream

Happy 4th of July weekend. We've had beautiful, hot, sunny weather in Denver, which also means perfect conditions for nighttime fireworks (last year I watched fireworks in the rain). With this heat comes the never ending need to cool down. After neglecting the ice cream maker for a while, I decided to put my free time to use and make some roasted banana ice cream. As is often the case with my cooking and baking, this ice cream flavor was chosen because there were some spotted bananas in the fruit bowl, but nobody felt like having banana bread.

I recently read about making homemade banana ice cream by just freezing chunks of banana, and then throwing them in a food processor when you want to have ice cream. Sounds good, but I like my ice cream to be a little sweeter and more flavorful than that. This David Lebovitz recipe was the perfect solution to the banana problem. Even when frozen for a while, this ice cream remains creamy, thanks to the bananas.

Recipe from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop
Makes about 1 quart/1 liter

3 ripe, medium bananas
1/3 cup (70 grams) brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) whole milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400ºF/200ºC. Cut the bananas into 1/2" pieces. Place them in an 8"x8" baking dish (2 quart/2 liter capacity). Toss the bananas with the brown sugar and butter pieces. Bake for 40 minutes, flipping the banana pieces over after 20 minutes, until the bananas are browned and cooked.

Put the bananas and the syrup in the baking dish into a food processor (don't let this cool down too much or the syrup will begin to solidify). Blend until smooth. Add the milk, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt. Blend until everything is well incorporated.

Chill mixture in the fridge for about an hour. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. I churned mine for 30 minutes, then allowed it to chill in the freezer for about 3 hours.

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