It’s ice cream week here at TT, which means I could’ve simply used ice cream as one of my starting ingredients . . . but somehow I couldn’t get into that. For one thing, my family tends to like ice cream as is, with maybe the occasional ice cream cake from Dairy Queen for someone’s birthday (like mine — who bakes the birthday cake baker’s birthday cake?). For another, ice cream is one of those foods everyone used to make at home, which is enough to make me set out to see if I can do it. Hey, I’ve made butter, sausage, and something that would almost pass for chicken bacon, so why not?
Well, because I didn’t have the equipment, either the old hand-cranked kind or the modern electric version. I did have a vague idea there was a method that involved burying the ingredients in snow, but in June, even here in Canada, snow is a little hard to track down. So I went on an Internet quest, and found there are several ways to make ice cream without a machine. The Kitchn has links to six of them. My favorite was the one that also called for only one ingredient: bananas.
Of course, that still left me three ingredients to add. I thought about chocolate, puréed raspberries, mango, lemon — which would all be good, by the way — but settled on a simple caramel sauce I could swirl in.
This is a little firmer than commercial ice cream, but it’s just as easy to scoop and eat.
- 4 medium ripe (or slightly overripe) bananas
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- Peel the bananas and cut into coins.
- Seal in a freezer bag or plastic container and freeze two hours or longer.
- When you’re ready to use them, let them thaw slightly.
- Purée in a food processor with one teaspoon of the vanilla extract till very smooth and ice cream-like. This will take five to 10 minutes.
- Put in a medium to large covered bowl and freeze again.
- Melt the butter in a small pan over low heat.
- Add the other teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- Carefully stir in the brown sugar and let it melt.
- Keep stirring till the mixture is smooth and all one color.
- Pour it slowly into the bowl with the banana purée and swirl it gently in.
- Put back in the freezer till time to eat.