Goin’ bananas

In Family, Food, In My Kitchen, On My Mind on June 11, 2010 at 9:28 am

Let’s just ignore the upheaval for a bit and focus on something of true importance. And by important I mean food. And by food I mean dessert, at least for the purposes of this entry. The other day I found myself unable to achieve much in the way of packing and organizing and purging, and was about ready to pull my hair out when I decided that a much better thing to do would be to make dinner. And banana bread. And spiced banana ice cream. Because really, that is how I should be spending my time.

The great thing about the banana project was that Daxieroo helped me. He can pour heavy cream and whisk egg yolks like nobody’s business. The poor kid’s been set adrift in this sea of family change, and I’m sure some of his recent craziness is a call for attention. Even just a few minutes of one-on-one Mama time can give my little guy a reset. And if it leaves a mark on his impressionable little mind of how fantastic cooking is, then all the better.

The banana bread has since disappeared, and the ice cream is hidden in the freezer until tomorrow night’s dinner at the pool. If all goes as planned, Daxieroo and I will whip up a second batch of ice cream today, probably a ginger affair. And then I might start thinking about pie.

Spiced Banana Ice Cream (Gourmet, October 2005)

Yield: Makes 1 quart
Active Time: 30 min
Total Time: 4 hr (includes freezing)
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 whole star anise or 1/2 teaspoon star anise pieces*
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise*
1/2 cup coarsely mashed ripe banana (1 medium)
6 large egg yolks

Stir together cream, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon stick, star anise, nutmeg, cardamom, white pepper, and a pinch of salt in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into cream mixture, then add pod. Purée banana in a food processor, then whisk into cream mixture. Bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 30 minutes.

Return to a boil, uncovered. Meanwhile, whisk together yolks in a large metal bowl. Add boiling-hot cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly, then pour into saucepan. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard is thick enough to coat back of spoon and registers 170 to 175°F on thermometer (do not let boil). Remove from heat and force custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean metal bowl, discarding solids. Set bowl in a larger bowl of ice water and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 30 minutes.

Freeze custard in ice cream maker, then transfer to an airtight container and harden in freezer, about 1 hour. Let soften in refrigerator 1 to 1 1/2 hours and then at room temperature 10 minutes.

*I didn’t have either of these and was not about to buy them so close to moving.

**I’ve only had a spoonful of this and it packs a whallop — very flavorful.

  1. Now I am disappointed I will miss the ice cream unveiling. It sounds yummy!! Next time call I have the other two ingredients, but it sounds like they may not have been needed. 🙂 You are so incredible! We will lunch when I get back. 😉

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