Saturday, August 12, 2006

Caramelized Banana Buttermilk Ice Cream

Just when you probably thought that I wasn't going to do any more ice cream posts, here is one more. After I posted the basic recipe for banana buttermilk ice cream, Fanny left a comment about making something similar: roasted banana ice cream. I was intrigued. How would the caramel-like flavor translate to the tangy ice cream?
I opted to caramelize my bananas on the stovetop instead of roasting them, though I think that grilled bananas would be a fantastic alternative. I thinnly sliced the bananas and dropped them into a hot pan. I don't think that they needed any butter or sugar, but you could certainly add a tablespoon (or two, of sugar) if you prefer. The bananas cooked until they were golden on both sides before I transfered them to a large bowl and mashed them somewhat. Some chunks remained, but all were small.
I combined the bananas with the ice cream base and let it chill until quite cold before pouring it into my ice cream maker.
The result was a slightly tangy ice cream that was both caramel-y and banana-y. (Like those -y endings?) The overarching flavor was the buttermilk, with the banana flavors rounding it out very nicely. This would be fantastic with either chocolate or caramel sauce. Maybe both.
If bananas aren't your favorite thing in ice cream, try the Black Cherry variation that I posted at Slashfood. Depending on your tastes, it might be even better.

Caramelized Banana Buttermilk Ice Cream
2 large or 3 medium bananas
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped, toasted walnuts (optional)

Thinnly slice the bananas and put them into a medium skillet over medium heat to cook until golden brown all over. Transfer to a large bowl.
Whisk together sugar, buttermilk and vanilla in a medium bowl, dissolving most of the sugar, then stir it into the bananas. Refrigerate until cold (at least 30-60 minutes).
Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze as directed. Add in walnuts, if using. Mine took about 15-20 minutes.
Transfer to a freezer-friendly container with a lid and freeze until firm (at least 30 minutes) before serving.

Serves 6.