I love ice creams (but who doesn’t, really?), and I love homemade ones for many reasons:
- It is sweet, yet generally lower in calories than a homemade cake.
- It is kind of healthy* as it has calcium and the nutrients from the fruits and/or the nuts.
- It is easy to prepare – well, at least the one not made from custard (and this banana and walnut ice cream is not made from custard.)
- It is always a great desert that pleases everyone.
* I say “kind of” because of the added sugar. If I was completely omitting the sugar from my ice creams, they would be healthy… but with time, I have learned to reduce little by little the quantity of added sugar in them, and also in cakes, cookies or in any other sweet stuffs that I prepare. It is better than nothing, I guess.
The banana and walnut is one of Dan and I favourite ice creams, and I have prepared it many times – sometimes with heavy cream, sometimes with gold or dark rum – and also sometimes without the walnuts because I forgot to add them…
A note: I have prepared ice creams for a while now, and they have always been super hard and impossible to scoop when straight out from the freezer, unlike industrial ones. I looked for information about that over the internet, and concluded that it is completely normal. So, homemade ice creams need to be taken out from the freezer about 10-15 minutes to soften before scooping and serving.
This recipe serves 5, and is ready in 15 minutes, but needs to be planned ahead as there is some inactive time.
- 1 cup of half and half
- ½ cup of milk
- ½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- 1 pinch of salt
- ¼ cup of Demerara sugar
- 1 tablespoon of water
- 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
- 2 fully ripe large bananas, peeled and cut into 1 cm slices
- ¼ teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup of walnut halves, roughly chopped (they can also be roasted in the oven to reduce the bitterness)
According to the type of ice cream machine: the day before making the ice cream, place the ice cream maker bowl in the freezer – if applicable.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the cream, milk, vanilla and salt. Set aside.
In a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, heat the sugar and water until it sizzles. Add the butter. When melted, add the banana and cook for 3 minutes stirring often. Remove from the heat. Using a spoon, strain the banana out of the sugar syrup. Stir the lemon juice into the banana, and then stir the banana and sugar syrup into the mixing bowl with the cream/milk mixture. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours, or overnight.
Insert the ice cream maker bowl into the ice cream machine. Pour in the mixture, and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Before the ice cream is done, add the walnuts.
Transfer the ice cream to a covered food container and freeze for up to 2 hours or until hard enough to scoop. If the ice cream is left longer in the freezer, remove from the freezer about 10-15 minutes before serving.
Inspired by Cuisinart‘s Banana Walnut Chip Ice Cream.