Yum Yum in the summertime

roasted_banana_ice_cream-5It’s summertime here in the American South and that means lots of great fresh fruit. I love fruit and keep my house stocked with berries, bananas, melons, and peaches. However, some weeks, when my kids are spending more time out of the house, I end up with too much fruit, much of it on the verge of going bad. So, what do I do? I make ice-cream. There is nothing, to me, better in the taste world than freshly churned ice-cream. It’s just incredible.

This week, I’ve made two kinds. I loved both, my kids loved just one. The one everyone loved is one I make often with quickly ripening bananas: caramelized banana ice-cream. The other one which my kids of course ate but didn’t give high marks to was cantaloupe ice-cream flavored with Pernod (a liquorish liqueur) and lemon simple syrup. Please note that I’m making ice-cream, not sherbet. Sherbet typically is made without cream and tends to be a much lighter desert.

I begin all my ice-creams with the same base. A typical batch—one that will make six servings—begins with 1 cup of heavy cream, ½ cup skim milk, a cup of brown sugar (I like the taste of brown sugar better than white—most people make the cream base with white sugar.), a splash of vanilla, and the yolks of four eggs. I mix all the ingredients, then heat them in a sauce pan on medium low heat, stirring all the while, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. (It should never get hot enough to boil.) I’ve made all kinds of ice-creams with this base: chocolate, strawberry, peach, almond, coffee, and more. The custard base gives the ice-cream a creamy richness that compliments almost any flavor.

When I make the caramelized banana ice-cream, I mash up four bananas, put them on foil in a baking pan, cover them with brown sugar and a tablespoon of melted butter, and let them cook at 400 degrees while I prepare the base. (The base usually takes about 15-20 minutes to make.) When the base is done, I turn off the stove and stir the now browned bananas into the mix. I then pour the whole concoction in a bowl and put the bowl into the refrigerator to cool—the mixture usually needs at least four hours, although if you are in a hurry, you can put it in the freezer and stir it every 15 minutes so it doesn’t form any ice crystals.

The now cooled mixture takes about 15-20 minutes to churn in my ice-cream maker. (I have a ten year old Krups one that works great.) The whole process takes less than an hour and, man, are the results worth it!

Do you make homemade ice-cream? If so, share the recipe! I’m always looking for new ideas.

10 thoughts on “Yum Yum in the summertime

  1. Victoria S

    I have never made my own ice cream. I had an aunt who used to make her own all summer long. She had one of the old kind that needed rock salt, and I never was interested in all that trouble . Imagine my surprise when I clicked on your link, and the new ones only have to have the bowl frozen. I have just ordered my own, and as soon as it gets here I will be trying it out. Now how can you beat this? Great book reviews and desserts too :-)

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  2. Dabney AAR Post author

    That’s a good question, Victoria. You would have to thaw it out when you wanted to use it and I think that would add water to it from the ice crystals. You can make the cream base and keep it in your fridge for several days–it spoils just like cream would.

    I would try freezing it and see if it works. I also might make it denser–less skim milk–so that the ice crystals wouldn’t dilute it.

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  3. Missie

    Dabney, that does sound good!

    My hubby and I have recently begun experimenting with making some homemade ice cream. We avoid concentrated sugars (I’m hypoglycemic and my hubby decided to forego sugar, as well), so I’ve been making ours as no-added-sugar. Thus far, we’ve made two kinds — an out of this world chocolate:

    http://thatsmellsyummy.wordpress.com/2011/05/29/

    And an incredibly yummy strawberry:

    http://thatsmellsyummy.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/

    Hubby’s b-day is on Wednesday, and he’s wanting us to experiment with some other flavors :-)

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  4. fabrigas

    Wow! This could be one particular of the most helpful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Great. I’m also an expert in this topic therefore I can understand your hard work.

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