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15 July 2009

Banana & sour-cherry ice-cream

I first made this recipe from a combination of necessity and desire.  Necessity to use up some sour-cherries that I'd had to buy in bulk from Bea, and desire because banana and sour-cherry ice-creams are two of my favourite flavours. 

I think it was at Persicco that I was introduced to great banana ice-cream that tasted of bananas rather than nasty sweets and Matteo at Scoop got me hooked on the wonders of amarena - a fior di latte based sour cherry ice-cream. 

One change you might want to make - and I think I will next time I make it - is to roast the bananas first.  David Lebovitz does this in his book and although I wasn't keen on the consistency of his roasted-banana ice-cream, the flavour was delicious: sweet, caramel, banana gorgeousness.

Makes about 1L

  • 3 bananas
  • 250g pitted sour-cherries
  • 70g brown sugar
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1tbp butter
  • 300ml full fat milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • 4 large egg yolks

First you need to make the sour-cherry compote.  I like to keep the compote as sour as possible, so I follow a very simple method of heating the cherries with 50g of caster sugar and a splash of water.  The cherries will gradually release juice and lose their structure.  You may want to add more sugar to taste, but remember the overall ice-cream will be relatively sweet.  Puree the compote and leave to cool thoroughly in the fridge.  You won't want it melting the ice-cream later on.

Slice the bananas, sprinkle with the brown sugar and roast them in the butter until they're brown and glistening, this can take up to 20 minutes. Mash the bananas and set aside.

Whisk together the egg yolks and 100g of caster sugar.  You want them to be light in colour, quite thick but not frothy.

Heat the milk - don't let it boil - and pour over the eggs, but be sure to keep stirring so the eggs don't curdle.

Rinse the pan you've heated the cream in. Put the custard (egg, sugar and milk) into the pan and reheat. Keep stirring it.  It's ready once it coats the back of a wooden spoon.

Let the custard cool completely.  It could take up to an hour.

Stir in the cream to the cooled mixture.

Combine the mashed bananas with the cream mixture and place in your ice-cream machine and follow your machine's instructions.

Add the cherries as you decant the ice-cream from the machine into the tub you'll be freezing it in. Layer the ice-cream with the very cold compote.  I tend to add enough compote each time so that it covers the surface of the tub, then add another layer of ice-cream and so on.


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