Saturday, February 4, 2012

Week Five - Bananas Foster

I did it, folks! I have officially made my first ice cream using MY OWN RECIPE! That is not to say I created a flawless recipe, but I'm pretty excited nonetheless, as you can see. (Capital letters always equal excitement!) It's taking me a while, but I'm slowly getting the hang of this. So stay tuned for more 52 Scoops Originals...

As for this week's flavor, I present to you: Bananas Foster. A New Orleans favorite, the dish consists of bananas (obviously) that have been cooked in a sauce of butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and rum. (I think traditionally it also contains banana liqueur but I chose to omit that.) The sauce is cooked, so as to remove the alcohol, and then served, most often, with vanilla ice cream. Often times, cooks will choose to flambé, or ignite, the dessert once the liquor is added. I also chose to omit this option, mostly because my cabinets are too close to the stove. But also because I've only flambéed once before (with a fire extinguisher close at hand!) and I was scared I'd singe my eyebrows this time.

I have had a couple delightful encounters with Bananas Foster over the past few years, most recently at a friend's wedding (touché, friend!)...but my favorite memory of the dish dates back to an Easter brunch I shared with my husband at a tiny little café near our old apartment. We had never eaten there before and chose Easter morning, of all mornings, to attempt to waltz in at noon and procure a window table for a leisurely brunch. What fools were we! As it turns out, the only seating available in the (again, TINY!) establishment were at a counter outside the kitchen. We happily, and hungrily, claimed two of the three stools at the counter and perused the menu. While my husband settled on some sort of potato pancake dish, if memory serves, I had been dazzled by the thought of Bananas Foster French Toast. Yes, friends. Bananas, brown sugar, rum, and french bread. Good god. Upon the plate's arrival, I was instantly smitten and the dish, to this day, remains one of the most delicious I've ever consumed.

Ahh, but I digress. You have not come to my humble blog to read about my brunching endeavors; you have come for ice cream! And ice cream you shall now receive. Or at least, instructions on how to create ice cream. Without further adieu, I give you...

Bananas Foster Ice Cream


2 ripe bananas
2 tbs butter
1/8 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup dark rum
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar

1. Peel the bananas and cut in half, then into quarters.

2. Melt the butter in a pan and add the cinnamon and allspice. Once combined, add the bananas.

3. After a minute or two, when you notice the bananas are starting to cook (or mush) add the rum. Allow it to cook for at least three or four minutes to burn off the alcohol.

4. Remove the mixture from heat and allow to cool completely. Upon cooling, purée in a food processor. Keep to the side.

5. In a pot over medium heat, combine the heavy cream, milk and sugars. Stir until the sugar is encorporated and heat until tiny bubbles appear around the sides - don't allow it to boil!

6. Remove from heat and slowly pour 1/2 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour egg mixture into the cream mixture and return to medium heat until mixture thickens, stirring all the while. You'll know you've mixed it enough when the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon.

7. Pour the banana mixture into the custard and stir until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cooled.

8. Transfer cooled mixture into the bowl of your ice cream maker and churn. Upon completion, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze.

...I just wanted to add a note at the end regarding the final results of this recipe. I'm not sure if I just need to tweak it or what the issue was but I had trouble freezing the mixture in my ice cream maker. As I poured it in, it began to freeze instantly along the bottom, forming a base of hard ice cream which kept the machine from being able to turn. Boo.

So for now, I'll just enjoy as is. But I'll be back, Bananas Foster. And when I do return, I shall perfect you!

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