For a while, people have been asking me if I would like an ice cream machine. Perhaps they were in search of finding a kitchen-gadget-gift for Jan and me that we didn’t already own, or they sensed my great love for all things sinfully sweet, frozen, and unhealthy. In any case, I always responded with a polite no. An ice cream maker was the last thing we needed, creating containers full of fresh, homemade goodness only to tempt me into overindulging. Well, all this changed when I recently watched an episode of Good Eats in which Alton Brown made the most delicious looking banana ice cream I’d ever seen. I quickly decided to throw all rules out the window and commandeer the ice cream machine of Jan’s younger brother Adam, which I determined he was using far too infrequently to miss.
For a few weeks, I stashed perfectly ripe bananas into the freezer one at a time. When I had collected about six of them, it was finally time. After letting them thaw for a while at room temperature, it was time to begin the process outlined in recipe below. The end result was an amazingly creamy and rich ice cream. While the color was more subtle than I’d expected (more the color of vanilla bean ice cream than the bright yellow I’d anticipated), the flavor was bold and delicious. With one successful ice cream experiment under my belt, now I’m ready to branch out and try some other flavors. I even purchased a half-gallon container of Half and Half at Costco in preparation, though I think my next attempt will replace some of the cream with low-fat milk for some slightly healthier varieties. I hear that the less fat added to the ice cream, the less creamy and smooth it will be, though I’ll probably make up for it with all the crumbled Oreos and marshmallows when I experiment with cookies & cream and rocky road.
Creamy Banana Ice Cream
6 ripe bananas
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Place bananas in the freezer ahead of time, at least overnight. Remove bananas and let thaw for about 45 minutes to an hour. Peel bananas and place into food processor, along with lemon juice. Pulse for about 15 seconds. Add corn syrup and vanilla and turn the food processor on. Slowly add the cream and process until smooth. Place in a container in the freezer and allow the temperature to get to 40 degrees F. Put the mixture into an ice cream maker and process for about 20 minutes. Place into an airtight container in the freezer and allow to harden several hours before serving.