Banana Pudding Ice Cream

Is it just me, or are bananas the awkward child of the fruit group?  Most other fruits contain lots of water, but bananas are off in their own world, doing their own super starchy thing.  Like growing upside down.  I didn’t really believe that was true until I saw it for myself in Taiwan.

Bunched up unripe bananas look like little alien pods.  Weird.  But don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy bananas.  One of my favorite snacks is a banana with peanut butter.  Luke and I bonded over making my mom’s banana bread, (which he loves).

Bananas and I are definitely buddies.  I mean, my name rhymes with them, so there’s got to be some kind of connection.

When I made this ice cream, I was worried the flavor of the banana might get wonky because of the freezing process.  Although the ice cream turned a slightly grayish color (which is normal because of oxidation, like apples turning brown), I could not be more thrilled with the taste.

Smooth, creamy, with just the right balance of sweetness and banana flavor.  There were even little pieces of frozen banana that managed to remain intact through my vigorous mashing.  Gotta love that resilient banana spirit.

Banana Pudding Ice Cream

Adapted from Bella Eats

Makes about 1 quart

5 egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

pinch salt

1 cup whole or 2% milk

2 cups heavy cream, divided

1 tsp vanilla

4 very ripe bananas, mashed or puréed

1/2 cup vanilla wafers, broken to small pieces but not crumbs (I used sugar cookies)

 In a medium-size bowl whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt, and set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the milk and 1 cup of the cream until little bubbles begin to form around the edges. Remove from heat and add to the egg mixture, whisking constantly.

Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat gently, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer reads 170˚. The mixture will coat the back of a spatula.

Pour custard through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl. Add the remaining cup of cream and the vanilla, and stir to incorporate. Add the puréed banana and stir to combine.  Let the mixture come to room temperature.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.  This can be done overnight.

The next day (or 8 hours later), pour the mixture into the frozen bowl of your ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions. As you transfer the ice cream to its long term container, stir in the crumbled cookie bits.

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