There's a particular kind of heat that comes to Toronto in the mid-summer, when the air gets so heavy and thick and hot that you could swear you're walking through a giant city-sized sauna. Even the breeze doesn't bring relief when it comes, because it's only just moving the hot air around.
Those are the days that call for hiding indoors, where it's cool and air conditioned, preferably with a big bowl of ice cream.
This past week, it's been so unbearably hot that it feels the heat has wormed its way right down to my bones, so deep down inside that even the air conditioning can't reach. It's no wonder that all I can dream about is ice cream. Ice cream for breakfast, ice cream for lunch, and ice cream for dinner.
In particular, I've been dreaming of this roasted banana ice cream, threaded all the way through with a ribbon of dulce de leche. It's the perfect antidote to the oppressive heat, creamy and sweet and deeply banana-ey, like bananas foster in frozen form.
This ice cream gets its intense banana flavour from a whopping half-dozen bananas, which must be as absolutely ripe as you can possibly get them. I'm not talking about a few brown spots here and there.... those suckers have to be almost completely black from head to toe, with maybe just a speck of two of yellow still remaining.
And as if that wasn't enough, you toss them in brown sugar and butter, and roast them until they're very soft and browned and swimming in a delicious caramel sauce. Only then are they worthy of making their way into this ice cream.
The only complaint I have? That this recipe doesn't make twice as much, because the forecast says we've got another week to go before there's any reprieve from this heat.
Until then, you'll find me huddled next to the A/C vent, dreaming of more banana ice cream.
- 3 cups whipping (35%) cream
- 6 very ripe bananas, peeled and cut into ½" thick slices
- ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 6 large egg yolks
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tbsp dark rum
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup dulce de leche
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- In a large, shallow baking dish, toss the bananas with brown sugar and melted butter. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the bananas are browned and very soft.
- Scrape the roasted bananas and all of the sauce from the pan into the bowl of a food processor, and process until smooth. Set aside.
- Bring the cream to a simmer over medium-low heat. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks and salt. Ladle in a small amount of the warm cream, whisking very briskly to keep the eggs from curdling. Slowly pour in the remainder of the warm cream, one or two ladlefuls at a time, whisking constantly as you go.
- Once all the cream has been added to the eggs, pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spatula. Immediately remove from the stovetop.
- Whisk the banana puree, rum and vanilla extract into the warm custard, and set aside to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the custard, and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.
- Using an ice cream maker, freeze the chilled custard as per the manufacturer's directions.
- Spoon alternating layers of ice cream and dulce de leche into a freezer-safe container, then run a skewer or butter knife through the mixture to create a swirl. Transfer to the freezer to chill until firm but scoopable, about 4 hours.