This roasted banana ice cream recipe stirs caramelized bananas and chunks of bittersweet chocolate in with all the usual ice cream ingredients. Quite possibly the best banana ice cream recipe ever.
The author likens this roasted banana ice cream recipe to “a sophisticated banana split wrapped up in a single scoop.” We’re not going to argue—in fact, we’re not going to bother with words at all, as we’re too busy helping ourselves to seconds. Suffice it to say this recipe has become our new banana-y thing to make when we have overripe Chiquitas on hand. With all due respect to banana bread, natch.–Renee Schettler Rossi
*How To Freeze Overripe Bananas For Later
Sometimes you just don’t have the time or energy to put those overripe bananas languishing on your countertop to good use before they go bad. Which is precisely why you need to know how to freeze overripe bananas for later. Ready? Simply toss the overripe banana in the freezer. That’s it. The peel protects the fruit from getting frostbitten or absorbing any odors from the freezer. Just beware that the peel will blacken, but that’s of little consequence. Also be forewarned that when you thaw the frozen bananas, they’ll exude quite a lot of juice, but that’s neither here nor there, either. (You can actually reserve this juice and use it, along with the banana, for an extra intense jolt of banana in smoothies and banana bread and even in place of the water in this roasted banana ice cream).
Special Equipment: Ice cream maker
Roasted Banana Ice Cream Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 2 H, 30 M
- Makes about 1 quart
- 3 cups (690 grams) heavy cream
- 2 vanilla beans, split and seeds scraped
- 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup (110 grams) packed dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 1 1/4 pounds extra super ripe bananas (4 to 6), peeled (fresh or thawed frozen bananas* work fine)
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60 to 70 percent cacao), chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
- 2. Stir together 2 cups heavy cream and the vanilla beans and seeds in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let infuse for at least 30 minutes.
- 3. Meanwhile, in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the sugar and the water. (If using frozen bananas, you can substitute 3 tablespoons of the liquid exuded by the thawing bananas in place of the water.) Add the bananas, gently toss to coat, and then put the skillet in the oven. Bake, stirring once or twice, until the sugar is bubbling and the bananas have softened and collapsed, 10 to 15 minutes if using frozen bananas, 25 to 30 minutes if using fresh bananas.
- 4. Dump the banana mixture in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, making sure to scrape in all of that exceptionally lovely sauce from the skillet, and process until smooth. You should have 1 1/4 cups purée. Scrape it into a medium bowl to cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. (And if by any good fortune you have more than 1 1/4 cups purée, reserve it for a different use. We can tell you from experience that it’s unspeakably excellent simply devoured by the spoonful.)
- 5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and salt. Add the cooled cream mixture and whisk to combine. Return the cream mixture to the pan and gently warm it over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, just until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 6 to 8 minutes. It’s important not to let the mixture come to a boil or it will curdle.
- 6. Fill a bowl larger than the bowl of purée halfway with ice water. Set a strainer over the bowl of banana purée. Pour the custard through the strainer, discarding any solids. Whisk in the vanilla extract and remaining 1 cup cream until combined. Place the bowl of banana-y goodness in the bowl of ice water. Stir occasionally until the roasted banana ice cream mixture is completely chilled and very thick.
- 7. Freeze the roasted banana ice cream mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, adding the chocolate during the last minute of processing. Because the ice cream mixture is so thick, it may not take much longer than 20 to 30 minutes. Spoon the ice cream into a freezer-proof container, cover, and freeze until firm, at least 8 hours. Let the ice cream sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before scooping and serving. Freeze the remaining ice cream with a piece of plastic wrap pressed directly against the surface of the ice cream for up to 2 weeks.
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