We tried this recipe for an ice-cream over the weekend and I don’t think I’ve been so excited about ice-cream ever! Saying this is saying a lot, because really ice-cream lists high…high on my list of favourite foods. I have been known to plead for it at the oddest times. My poor, harried husband has been known to drive me to Swenson’s at all odd hours because of ill-timed cravings for a chocolate orange swirl. It took some time before he completely understood just how deep my love affair with this delicious frozen delight really went. He also knows he needs to move very quickly once the craving has struck. I steam-roll over anything in my way.
Even so, ice-cream and I have had a love-hate relationship. I have always loved it, it kind of hates me, I think. As a child, rarely could I get away with blatantly eating it at will. Doctors threatened tonsillectomy and my mother watched me like a hawk, but I still managed to whine and whimper until my dad gave in and bought me a cone. Flash forward to adulthood and not much has changed except that the absence of parental supervision means I can eat all the ice-cream that I want. Doctors still threaten impending doom for the tonsils, but you know what? I look forward to it. Apparently, after a tonsillectomy, you-can-have-all-the-ice-cream-you-want! Heaven, is that you??
Getting back to this recipe that has me all worked up, it is so simple, yet so amazing and delicious, the person who figured it out should be given the food Pritzker or some thing like that. It is a banana ice-cream that uses…are you ready for it?…one ingredient. And no, I don’t mean bananas and one ingredient, I mean one ingredient…period, full-stop, end of ingredient list. I read about it here for the first time, though from what I read I gather that this recipe has been around for a while. I love bananas. I love ice-cream. How did I not know about this sooner? Then, as I read on, I got a bit skeptical. How is it possible? Ice-cream is cream, sugar and ice. How could the humble banana manage to reach the exalted heights that whipped cream and sugar can reach when iced? The symphony of that frozen music surely can’t be created merely by a fruit!
So of course, I had to try this right away. I had some bananas at home. What I read told me that it would be better if the bananas were as ripe as possible, without having gotten spoiled. So I bunged all seven bananas into a paper bag to speed up the ripening process. Come Friday they had turned into beautiful black and yellow specimen, slightly squishy. So I peeled them and tossed them into the freezer. The next morning they had frozen rock hard, at which point a few of them were placed in a blender and given a whizz. At first they just kind of sat there, sort of confused about what they were supposed to do next. But slowly, with the gentle cajoling of the ‘pulse’ button, they got with the program and began to gently whirr about the blender. A few more rounds of blending turned everything into mounds of creamy looking clouds. We stopped the blender, grabbed the jar and reached in spoons and fingers. And to quote my favourite F.R.I.E.N.D.S, oh-my-god!
The resultant whipped fruit is out of this world. I was tempted, tempted to swear there and then that I would never eat bananas any other way again (but I love banana bread entirely too much.) Something almost magical happens to the frozen bananas when they are blended. The banana ice gets air whipped into it and they turn into a wonderful creamy ice-cream like concoction with the consistency of a soft-serve. Rich and creamy, you just cannot believe all it took was a couple of bananas. We squabbled like little kids over who got to finish the first batch!
I added some powdered green cardamom and a teaspoon of vanilla essence to my second batch, just to see how it would turn out. It was like adding additional icing to a cake that was already frosted. The cardamom worked very well, the vanilla essence might have been a bit of an over-kill. We also added some caramel, hardened into lovely little golden brittle to the mix, which worked superbly. My mind is racing with ideas. There are new bananas freezing as I write this and I have big plans for this lot.Some of them are going to go in with some walnuts, another lot is going to become best friends with chocolate, a home-made chunky monkey of sorts. Maybe top it with some berries…the possibilities are endless. We’ve been wondering what else might work with this treatment, maybe mangoes…or papaya? But it would have to be good, really ripe fruit. If you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, look no further for the perfect ice-cream. This is it.
We did manage (only barely just) to save enough to fill a small box and put it in the freezer, only to see if it froze and kept as well as I had read it would. I have to say It managed fairly well. But I very much preferred the version that came out of the blender as opposed to the re-frozen one. Somehow, though the frozen version tastes pretty good, the fact you are eating only bananas becomes more obvious here. Still, at the end of it, I was never more happy to have my skepticism turned on its ear. This is a delicious and amazing one-ingredient miracle. You will love it. Your children may insist on having their bananas only this way in the summers. You have to try it to believe it.
Simplest banana ice-cream
Software required: Bananas, peeled and frozen solid
Hardware required: a blender
Introduce one to the other and watch them make sweet music!