banana bread ice cream

This winter has been long, dark, and bitterly cold. Between frost-bitten noses and frozen pipes bursting in the basement, I've somehow still found the time to make ice cream. Batch after batch of ice cream. I'm not sure if its exposure therapy to help me deal with the season, but whatever it is, its delicious.

This ice cream bridges the gap between cold and warm, winter and summer. The comforting spice of banana bread meets the cool refreshment of ice cream, with amazing results.  I didn't have any bourbon on hand, but I you do, I don't think a little tipple--added to the custard before cooling--would hurt anybody.

Banana Bread Ice Cream

1+1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half cream
6 tbsp+1 tsp brown sugar, divided
4 egg yolks
3/4 tsp cinnamon, divided
1 ripe banana
3 tbsp crème fraiche, or sour cream
1/4 cup chopped chocolate

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cut the banana in half, lengthwise, and sprinkle with 1 tsp brown sugar and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until the banana is soft, bubbling, and caramelized on the edges. Scrape the banana, and all the delicious, crispy, scrumpy bits from the pan into a bowl and mash well. Set aside.

Fill a large bowl half-way with cold water and a handful of ice cubes. In a bowl that will comfortably fit inside the ice-water bowl, mix half-and-half, egg yolks, and 3 tbsp brown sugar. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, mix cream with remaining sugar and cinnamon. Set over medium-low heat until bubbling at the edges, just before it reaches a boil. Remove from heat. In a slow, steady stream, pour cream mixture into half-and-half mixture, whisking constantly.

Return mixture to saucepan, and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until it reaches 170°F. If you don't have a candy thermometer, cook until mixture has thickened, and coats the back of a spoon. Meanwhile, rinse and dry the medium bowl. When the custard is done, pour through a strainer (to catch any bits of egg that may have scrambled over the heat), into medium bowl, and place in ice-water bath.

Whisk in reserved banana puree, and crème fraiche (or sour cream). Cool in the fridge for several hours, with a piece of saran wrap on the surface to prevent a skin from forming on the custard. When the custard is completely cool, churn as per ice cream machine manufacturer's directions, mixing in chocolate chunks during last minute of churning. Scoop into container and freeze for several hours. Enjoy!