There are different ways for every family to spend time together. In my house, cooking is a major activity, with plenty of rewards. The time we spend together cooking and the resulting foods keep our hearts and bellies full.
Having a toddler in the house gives me the extra excuse to indulge my inner child and make things that adults almost always enjoy, but never think of making at home.
Our most recent culinary adventure was homemade ice cream. While I was busy measuring milk, cream and sugar, my little one proved herself an expert banana-smasher and taste tester. In addition to smashing bananas and tasting them, my daughter was able to learn some valuable lessons about kitchen safety and stirring things together, necessary skills for any aspiring chef.
The banana ice cream recipe I am sharing this week is most definitely an adaptation of a few recipes I have used throughout the years. If you are vegan, you can replace the milk/cream with coconut milk and omit the egg yolks – it won’t turn out quite the same, but is still a delicious frozen treat. Stay cool!
Banana Ice Cream
Special equipment needed:
Ice cream maker – These vary in price from about $30-$300, but the results are similar with just about any maker you go with. I used an electric maker that needs ice to freeze the ice cream. Hand-cranked makers can be a fun way to get the kids involved but be careful, as they do require quite a bit of elbow grease and take a little longer.
3 1/2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
5 egg yolks
4 bananas, peeled and smashed (previously frozen)
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
1/4 cup packed brown sugar (or to taste)
Freeze your bananas overnight and remove from the freezer at least an hour prior to starting your ice cream base. Peel your bananas and smash them up thoroughly.
In a large thick bottomed sauce pan, combine milk, cream, vanilla, and smashed up bananas. Bring mixture up to a slight simmer, then reduce heat just below simmering point and stir constantly with a wooden spoon or heat resistance rubber spatula. In a mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar and set aside. Once your cream/banana mixture has heated for about 20 minutes, you can begin tempering your eggs in.
Remove cream/banana mix off the heat and slowly start ladling the mix into your egg yolk/sugar mixture about an ounce at a time while stirring your ice cream base constantly. Once a third of the hot liquid has been incorporated, you can in crease the amount per ladle to 3-4 ounces. Continue until all liquid has been added, then move it back into the sauce pan and heat on low. Whisk banana pieces into the mixture to break them down. If you want a smoother texture, you can puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Cook the base until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. You should be able to draw a line through the base without it beading into the negative space. Move your ice cream base into a shallow container such as a casserole pan and chill in the refrigerator until is is at least 40 degrees Farenheit, stirring occasionally.
Pour your ice cream base into your ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer’s specifications/directions to make your ice cream. Allow the ice cream to set up for an hour or two in the freezer before serving.
Garnish with your favorite goodies (I like butter toffee peanuts).
Looking for other ways to satisfy your sweet tooth? Check out these upcoming events:
Every Wednesday through Sunday until Saturday, August 24 I Cupcake Crawl Across Manhattan – New York, New York New York City has been having a love affair with the cupcake ever since Sex in the City‘s Carrie stopped into Magnolia Bakery for their now famous red velvet cupcakes. New cupcakerys have been popping up all over the city, but who really makes the best cupcake in NYC? Sugartooth Tours lets you be the judge with their new “Cupcake Crawl Across Manhattan.” Try six different cupcakes from some of the best bakeshops Manhattan has to offer. You may have heard of one or two of our stops, but this tour is about getting off the beaten path and going beyond the big name chain bakeries you’ve already heard of. Unlike most other food tours, this tour literally takes you across Manhattan from the Upper East Side, to the East Village, to Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, and more! Public transportation gives the full New York experience and allows guests to find the best cupcake in NYC, not just in one neighborhood.
Saturday, July 27 I Coffee and Chocolate Pairing – Kansas City, Missouri Chocolate and coffee are a natural pairing and Broadway Cafe and Roasting Company has got two of the best in Kansas City in each category. In these tastings you will try two coffees with chocolates that compliment the drink’s flavor and aroma. Broadway Cafe and Roasting Company guarantees giddiness and a sugar/caffeine buzz that will get you up and ready for anything the weekend throws your way! You’ll also get to take home a sample of one of the coffees you taste that day to brew at home.
Sunday, July 28 I Art of the Pie: Fruit Pie Workshop – Port Angeles, Washington This is the original Art of the Pie hands-on 5-hour workshop. Included in each workshop class are all ingredients, recipes, yummy snack and more. You will learn the lifetime skill of how to make great crust, seasonal fruit filling, pie lore plus so much more! Each student will finish class with a pie hot from the oven or ready to bake at home. Since 2006, Kate McDermott, the creator and founder of Art of the Pie, has taught the time-honored craft of pie making to thousands. One of the most highly sought-after culinary instructors in the Northwest and nationally, Kate is widely acknowledged as one of the best makers of pie ever.