If you are from the south, then you know that banana pudding is the ubiquitous dessert at any church supper, potluck, or family gathering. I've definitely had my fair share of banana pudding, both good and bad. But I don't think I'll ever get tired of it. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, banana pudding is a layered dessert of vanilla wafers, sliced bananas, vanilla pudding, and meringue. Its a great make ahead dessert because it is served chilled, and its best if its left to chill in the refrigerator overnight.
To turn such a classic dessert into an ice cream is pretty genius, but I expect nothing less from The Lee Brothers at this point. They have mastered the art of mixing up classic southern dishes and turning them into something new and exciting, and this ice cream is no different. First, bananas are caramelized with brown sugar and rum, and turned into a puree. The puree is then mixed with a sweet custard, and the miuxture is churned. Finally, crushed vanilla wafers are folded into the ice cream, and its frozen to banana pudding-perfection. At first I thought I was just making banana ice cream, but it really and truly does taste like banana pudding! Such a fun ice cream flavor, and one I'll definitely keep in my repertoire for my southern-inspired spreads!
By the way, I'm sure you've all seen it on countless blogs by now, but Happy Ice Cream Month!
One Year Ago: Grilled Pizza with Goat Cheese and Summer Vegetables
Banana Pudding Ice Cream
Matt Lee and Ted Lee, The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook
makes about 1 quart
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 ripe bananas, sliced in half crosswise and lengthwise
- 2 Tablespoons dark rum
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 8 2-inch vanilla wafers, roughly chopped, plus more for garnish
Pour the rum over the bananas. Let it hiss and pop, then bubble for a minute to burn off the alcohol. Transfer the contents of the skillet to blender or food processor and set aside.
Lightly beat the egg yolks with a whisk in a medium bowl, then add the sugar and beat until the mixture is a milky lemon-yellow color, about 1 1/2 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 150 degrees on a candy thermometer, 6-8 minutes. You may see steam rising, but don't allow it to boil. Pour 1/2 cup of the milk into the banana mixture, and puree until smooth, about 1 minute. Reserve and let cool.
Add the remainign 1 cup of milk in a thin stream into the egg and sugar mixture, whisking constantly as you pour. Pour the custard back into the saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. When the custard reaches 170 degrees and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, turn off the heat (this will probably take 6-8 minutes). Add the banana puree to the custard and gently whisk to incorporate it completely.
Allow the custard to cool to room temperature, and whisk in the cream. Transfer to a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Freeze the custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Scatter the wafer crumbs over the top fold into the ice cream. Transfer to a plastic container and freeze for at least 2 hours. Garnish with a whole vanilla wafer before serving.