Wasn’t the first day of summer last week? I am quite sure that it was although Mother Nature seems to have forgotten. In the last ten days, I’ve found myself digging through fall and winter clothes to outfit myself and my children with long sleeve shirts, jackets, sweaters, and the like. I am not happy about this.
We live in New England where the growing season is only 90 days long. We trudge through every winter and mud season, aka spring, holding the promise of summer close at hand. We have to, it’s the only way to make it through. Yet here we sit mere days from July with temperatures barely breaking the 60 degree mark. I am not amused.
This should be the time of year when we end a day of working outside by swimming in the seasonal pool in the backyard. Icy cocktails should be served. The garden should need watering to cope with the abundant sunshine. I should be able to eat ice cream without wearing a jacket.
I will have to press on in spite of the unseasonably cool weather. I will persevere. I will have multiple flavors of homemade ice cream in our freezer to accompany our Fourth of July Feast. If the weather hasn’t warmed up by then, I may rescind Mother Nature’s invitation to dine with us.
On to the ice cream. It is a perennial favorite here at 1840 Farm. We all have our favorite flavors, but a few are popular with every member of our family. Honey vanilla bean is a great base for ice cream sundaes and caramelized banana sends everyone running to the churning ice cream machine for a taste.
How do they know when to come running with a tasting spoon in hand? Even if I haven’t divulged my plan to make caramelized banana ice cream, their sense of smell gives me away. Preparing the bananas suddenly perfumes our whole farmhouse with the heavenly smell of warm honey and bananas. In less than thirty minutes, the base is prepped and the hard work begins. We need to allow the base to sit overnight in the refrigerator to completely cool and allow the flavors to develop.
I will admit to skipping this step in the past. I cooled the base in an ice bath and processed it in my machine. Doing so never yielded the rich, smooth texture that I can achieve if I allow the mix to chill overnight. After I had tried it a few times I decided that the overnight chill would just have to be part of the process. We would all just have to take a deep breath and wait.
I hope that you will enjoy this ice cream as much as we do. I also hope that Mother Nature will remember that it is indeed summer. A little warmth and sunshine would be much appreciated. Until then, I’ll take a deep breath and wait. At least I’ll have ice cream to make the wait a little more bearable.
Caramelized Banana Ice Cream
I prefer to use honey in this recipe instead of refined sugar. If you prefer, brown sugar could be substituted for the honey. Using brown sugar will result in a darker ice cream but the taste will still be delicious.
1 Tablespoon butter
4 Tablespoons (84 grams) honey
3 medium bananas sliced 1/2″ thick
8 ounces (1 cup) heavy cream
1 large egg yolk
1 pinch sea salt
16 ounces (2 cups) whole milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add honey and banana slices and saute until caramelized and soft, about 12 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add cream, stirring to combine. Remove from heat.
In small bowl, combine egg yolk and 2 Tablespoons of the warm cream mixture. Whisk until smooth. Add egg mixture to skillet over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.
Add warm mixture to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add salt, whole milk, and vanilla. Pulse until well combined. Remove mixture to a covered container. Refrigerate overnight. Prepare ice cream maker for use.
Pour refrigerated mixture into freezer base and process as recommended by manufacturer. Place ice cream in a freezer safe container and freeze until ready to serve.