It’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.