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Caramelized Banana Buttermilk Ice Cream

Just when you probably thought that I wasn’t going to do any more ice cream posts, here is one more. After I posted the basic recipe for banana buttermilk ice cream, Fanny left a comment about making something similar: roasted banana ice cream. I was intrigued. How would the caramel-like flavor translate to the tangy ice cream?

I opted to caramelize my bananas on the stovetop instead of roasting them, though I think that grilled bananas would be a fantastic alternative. I thinnly sliced the bananas and dropped them into a hot pan. I don’t think that they needed any butter or sugar, but you could certainly add a tablespoon (or two, of sugar) if you prefer. The bananas cooked until they were golden on both sides before I transfered them to a large bowl and mashed them somewhat. Some chunks remained, but all were small.

I combined the bananas with the ice cream base and let it chill until quite cold before pouring it into my ice cream maker.
The result was a slightly tangy ice cream that was both caramel-y and banana-y. (Like those -y endings?) The overarching flavor was the buttermilk, with the banana flavors rounding it out very nicely. This would be fantastic with either chocolate or caramel sauce. Maybe both.

If bananas aren’t your favorite thing in ice cream, try the Black Cherry variation that I posted at Slashfood. Depending on your tastes, it might be even better.

Caramelized Banana Buttermilk Ice Cream
2 large or 3 medium bananas
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped, toasted walnuts (optional)

Thinnly slice the bananas and put them into a medium skillet over medium heat to cook until golden brown all over. Transfer to a large bowl.
Whisk together sugar, buttermilk and vanilla in a medium bowl, dissolving most of the sugar, then stir it into the bananas. Refrigerate until cold (at least 30-60 minutes).
Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze as directed. Add in walnuts, if using. Mine took about 15-20 minutes.
Transfer to a freezer-friendly container with a lid and freeze until firm (at least 30 minutes) before serving.Serves 6.

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  • Rainey
    August 12, 2006

    Thanks for doing that experimenting. When I saw Fanny’s note I my tongue was hanging out too. ;>

    When I made your banana and buttermilk ice cream I used the new Splenda brown sugar blend with great results. I think it would be an asset to this recipe as well.

    Your recipes are consistently wonderful with great flavor and very reliable results. Thanks as ever.

  • Nic
    August 12, 2006

    Thanks, Rainey! And thanks for the tip about the splenda blend. Not only does that mean that I’ll be able to try making this ice cream for my sugar-restricted grandmother (are all grandmothers sugar-restricted these days?), but I’ll probably save a few calories myself because I am addicted to making this, and variations of it. Not that I’m complaining, mind you!

  • Anonymous
    August 12, 2006

    Hi. I just stumbled on your website and it looks great! I’ve recently (at the insistence of my mother-in-law!) purchased the Cusinart ice cream maker and I love it. I’m definitely going to try your Banana recipe! I also wanted to add that the recipe book that comes with the ice cream maker says that you shouldn’t use an artifical sweetener because it can damage the bowl. Don’t know how, but I thought I’d pass that along!

  • Ellie
    August 12, 2006

    Oh my. And it’s thanks to recipes like this that I am currently on the hunt for an ice-cream maker – egads, that sounds good!

  • Rainey
    August 14, 2006

    Anonymous, it simply doesn’t make any sense to think that an artificial sweetener could damage a composite metal bowl. After all, the sweetener is well-dissolved in the liquid cream base by the time you turn it into the frozen bowl and represents a small proportion of the total ingredients.

    The only thing it could, potentially, do is change the ice crystal that forms. I can’t say I’ve ever made ice cream exclusively with artificial sweetener, but the Splenda blend which contains Splenda combined with actual brown sugar froze to a nice creamy consistency I was very satisfied with.

    Now, I didn’t happen to freeze that ice cream in a Cuisinart freezer — I prefer a water brine and ice freezer myself if I’m not churning something chunky and want the open dasher form that the Cuisinart has. But I did check the booklet that came with my Cuisinart freezer and it specifically says that you CAN substitute artificial sweeteners. So, if that’s something you want to do, you can feel free to do it with confidence.

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