Now here's an interesting one - roasted banana ice cream

When I first read this recipe in the book the new sugar and spice, I thought - wow!  What a great way to use up ripe bananas.

It sounded intriguing so I went for it.

We had a bunch of bananas sitting around, not getting any younger, so I peeled them, broke them up and froze them in a ziploc bag until I was ready.

The ice cream base is pretty standard, using cream, sugar and egg yolks, although the sugar comes in at the banana roasting stage rather than during the making of the crème anglaise.

Whereas the recipe calls for 3 cups of heavy cream for the dairy, I used whole milk for one of the cups.  I decided to follow the standard formula in a David Lebovitz recipe that I've been using for years and has always turned out well.

The first step is to heat 2 cups of the dairy with 2 scraped vanilla beans (seeds and pods) and let it steep for an hour or so.

Then in an ovenproof skillet, melt 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, add 100 grams dark brown sugar and 3 tablespoons water. My bananas had been frozen, so during the thaw some juice was created which I used in place of some of the water (Samantha's tip!).

getting ready
Add the bananas and toss them to coat . . . .

then put the skillet in a preheated 450º oven.

Bake the bananas until bubbling and the bananas have broken down.

after the oven
Then purée the roasted bananas (I used a blender) and put them in a medium bowl to cool.  Place a strainer over the banana bowl.

Now this is where I became a tad concerned.  The puréed mixture looked absolutely awful and totally unappealing.

oh my!

But not to be swayed I was determined to see this through.  My hope was that once the purée was mixed into the ice cream base and processed, it would lighten up and not have such a dirty, ugly brown color!

Turning back to the ice cream base, I put 6 large egg yolks in a bowl along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, poured a portion of the warm vanilla bean infused dairy over the yolks, whisking away.  The mixture is then returned to the heat and cooked while stirring until just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  I took it to about 82ºC.

Strain the mixture into the bowl containing the banana puree and whisk in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and the third cup of dairy.

Cool this over on ice bath, whisking periodically.

phew! looks better already
Chill the base in the fridge over night.

When you're ready to process the base, have 142 grams/5 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped and ready to go.

ready to start churning
At the end of processing add in the chopped chocolate to blend.

looking pretty good
Put the ice cream in a container and freeze until firm (I usually do this a day or two ahead of when I plan to serve it).  Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ice cream to prevent crystallization during freezer storage.

The final product looked just fine and tasted good too.  My only complaint was it seemed a bit icy and not as creamy as I would have liked.

Perhaps the fact that I replaced one cup of cream in the recipe with whole milk, in addition to the moisture in the banana puree, was enough to create the icier texture.

Steve had NO problem with it, but then he's a sucker for ice cream in any way, shape or form!