As the weather heats up here in Southern California, the bananas in our home have an even shorter shelf life. I’m always trying to find new recipes to use up overly ripe bananas but most sound so unappealing as summer approaches. Now that I am 7 months pregnant (and therefore overheat easily), ice cream and milkshakes sound even more amazing than usual. This banana ice cream recipe has a unique flavor due to caramelizing the bananas before creating the ice cream base. The addition of alcohol (preferably one like vodka that won’t overpower or compete with the banana flavor) prevents ice crystals from forming— thus making for a very creamy ice cream. You can make it without the chocolate chips and instead drizzle caramel sauce on top before serving.
- 3 medium sized bananas, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, diced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup 1% (lowfat) milk
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract (I like bourbon vanilla extract)
- 1 Tbsp vodka
- ½ tsp salt (I used Kosher salt)
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (mini semisweet chocolate chips also work well if you want a less chunky chip)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice bananas into ½ inch pieces and toss with brown sugar and butter in a 2-quart baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, stir well, then bake for another 20 minutes.
- Let cool slightly. Add the bananas and all the sauce from the baking dish into a blender or food processor. Add the heavy cream, milk, granulated sugar, vanilla, brandy, and salt. Puree until very smooth.
- Place in an airtight container and chill overnight in the refrigerator. When ready, whisk or stir the mixture to even out the texture. Add to your ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the chocolate chips in the last few minutes of the freezing process (or as directed by the manufacturer). Serve immediately for soft serve or place in an airtight container and freeze for at least 3 hours before scooping.