The weather has been crazy lately; changing from a sweltering summer heat to gloomy and rainy in a span of mere hours, and then back again. After an angry bout of rain, a blinding sort of sunlight beams itself down and soon enough the ground is dry and all signs of storm in the previous hour disappears. Until it rains again, that is. It’s the sort of indecisive weather that can make people catch colds. It’s the sort of indecisive weather that ruins plans.
However there are certain things that aren’t dependent on the weather, and easily plenty of them involve food. There are comfort food and spicy food best for cold weather, there are refreshing food best for hot days, but off the top of my head, something that fits regardless of the temperatures is ice cream. I looove it in the summertime but I also can’t keep away from it when it’s cold, not even when I’m sitting through winter weather. Something about fighting the cold with more cold.
Luckily since the Philippines is mostly a hot country, ice cream is always such a huge hit all year round. July is supposed to be the start of the rainy season here, but it is also [Inter?]National Ice Cream Month. And you all know I love ice cream too much to let that food holiday pass! The proof is in the number of homemade ice cream I’ve created already.
I find that making ice cream at home gives one the best opportunities in conjuring flavours normally not seen in many commercial settings. I mean, I’ve never seen any banana-flavoured ice cream in the supermarket before. Most especially not a Caramelized Banana Ice Cream flavour like the one I’m sharing today.
Caramel goes well with a great deal of things, and for bananas it is also a great match. It’s pretty genius to combine the two and make caramel bananas as an ice cream base flavour. As always, the riper the bananas, the more flavoursome they are once used in a dessert. You start by cooking the bananas and brown sugar together to get a deliciously fragrant banana-scented caramel. I know the recipe says the rum is optional, but where there are bananas involved rum is always a good addition. I say go all the way! Now imagine all those flavours in the form of a creamy frozen dessert!
Makes about 1 quart
- 2 very ripe medium bananas, peeled
- 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup 1% or 2% milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons dark rum (optional)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Before beginning the recipe, remember to chill your ice cream maker's bowl as per manufacturer's instructions.
- 1. Combine the bananas and brown sugar in a medium skillet and use a fork to mash them together into a nearly liquid paste.
- 2. Put the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is dark golden brown and slightly reduced, around 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool briefly then puree in a blender or food processor to make a smooth paste. Set aside.
- 5. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks just to break them apart. Set aside.
- 4. In a heavy nonreactive saucepan, stir together the cream, milk, and salt, then put the pan over medium-high heat. When the mixture approaches a bare simmer, reduce the heat to medium.
- 5. Carefully scoop out about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture. While whisking the egg yolks continuously, add the cream to the bowl with the egg yolks. Repeat this process by adding another 1/2 cup of hot cream to the bowl with the yolks.
- 6. Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir the cream in the saucepan as you slowly pour the egg-and-cream mixture from the bowl back into the pan.
- 7. Cook the mixture carefully over medium heat, stirring constantly until it is thickened and coats the back of a spatula. It should hold a clear path when you run your finger across the spatula.
- 8. Strain the base through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean heat-resistant container. Set the container into an ice bath and stir the mixture occasionally with a spatula until it is cool. Add the rum (if using), vanilla extract, and the banana-caramel puree, then whisk until blended.
- 9. Remove the container from the ice bath and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the base for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- 10. Once the base has been chilled, freeze in your ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions. While the ice cream is churning, you can put the container you'll use to store the ice cream in the freezer to cool it. Once churned, you can enjoy right away, or transfer to chilled container and freeze for at least 4 hours for firmer ice cream.
And what about enjoying it with some of the chocolate macaron ice cream sandwich shells I learned from Jeni? Everyone at home loved this pairing!
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