Banana Bread Ice Cream (#15-D/E)

20 06 2012
bananas

Ripe Bananas 29 cents / lb

These bananas just about overstayed their welcome at the produce store.  With so much competition from other summery fruits (Berries!  Melons!  Mangoes!), they were neglected, never chosen.  Brown spots started appearing, and that’s when they were demoted to the back of the store — marked with a blue felt-tipped pen and tossed into a bin that said Ripe Bananas 29 cents / lb.  Brilliant.  Eight pounds, please.

Speckly brown bananas are soft and sweet, have a deep flavour, and have none of those annoying stringy fibres.  While probably past their prime for eating outright, they are perfect for making banana bread — and even better — banana bread ice cream.

This is the first 52 Scoops ice cream recipe that is egg-free.  The gooeyness of mashed, ripe banana makes for a delectably thick ice cream mix that is very similar in consistency to a cooked custard.  When churned, it yields a well-structured ice cream where the flavour of the fruit takes centre stage.

As noted in my post on egg-free ice cream making tips earlier this week, egg-free ice cream recipes tend to work best with fruit flavours.  With summer officially in full swing (Happy Solstice, everyone!) and fresh fruit abound at the markets, I promise there will be more egg-free ice cream recipes to come!

Banana Bread Ice Cream (Makes about 1.25 L)

Adapted from Serious Eats

2 tbsp butter
4 bananas (about 2 cups mashed)
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 cups half-and-half cream*
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c chopped walnuts, toasted

  1. Melt the butter in a non-stick pan.
  2. Add the mashed banana and the brown sugar.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the banana are gooey and soft and turn a beautiful, caramel colour.  This should take about 7 to 8 minutes.  Let cool.
  4. Tip the bananas into a blender jar.  Add the half-and-half cream, sea salt, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Blend on medium speed until smooth.
  5. Chill the mixture overnight in the fridge.
  6. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. In the final moments of churning, add the toasted walnuts and churn to distribute throughout the ice cream.
Banana bread ice cream

The Official Taster says: “This is one of my favourites!”

* 52 Scoops note: I also tested this recipe substituting 3 cups of plain soy milk (Silk brand) for the half-and-half.  The soy version was less creamy, “colder”, and icier in texture compared to the dairy version.  The banana flavour was also less pronounced.  However, it does make for a very acceptable low-fat and dairy-free option!
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