Photo by ArtsySF and used with her permission.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Banana Pudding Ice Cream

Anyone who has been to a real barbecue joint knows about banana pudding. It is perhaps the most ubiquitous dessert in the South. One taste of the fresh bananas, pudding, and vanilla wafers with a topping of whipped cream and you will understand why it is so popular. Mrs. Fellow has been in a banana mood for a while so I thought it best to indulge her with some ice cream. This is a very basic recipe. It is easy to make and straightforward to follow which is why it is the perfect recipe to introduce my new worksheet.

I will still list ingredients the way I always have, but the work sheet requires switching to grams. So everything you see on the worksheet is the equivalent weight of the amount in the recipe. For example, 2 cups of cream weighs 475 grams. While this may sound like it is about to get very complicated, fear not this is easy to follow.

Successful ice cream is all about balance between fats and sugar and solids and water. Fats and sugar combine to give not only taste, but texture. The right proportions also contribute to stability. Before we look at the chart, I must admit to you that I fudged the sugar content a bit. The final product was not sweet enough so I added in some sugar after cooking and I upped the sugar content (from 19% to 25%) of the bananas because they were extremely ripe. PLease forgive the awful chart. This was imported as a .jpg file and it didn't turn out as pretty as I would have liked. Click the picture to view a bigger version of the sheet in a new window.

My ice cream is 13.69% fat and 15.95% sugar, which is close enough to what it should be for things to work. At 13% milkfat, the ice cream should have 15.5% sugar. At 14% milkfat, the ice cream should have 16% sugar. Where this falls down a bit is in the milk solids (MSNF). A correct homemade ice cream should have between nine and ten percent MSNF. Mine is obviously too low. What does MNSF do and what does this mean?

MSNF absorbs water. Too much MSNF and the lactose will crystallize. Too little, as in my case, and the finished product may be icy. My recipe came out just a tiny bit icy. Without trying it I can’t be absolutely certain, but I think if you increase the whole milk to 575 grams (about 2 1/3 cups) and remove 80 grams of banana the MSNF will increase to 4.72% and the problem should go away without drastically changing the taste. I listed the changes in red.

I did not define the amount of vanilla wafers. In general add-ins like these are should be left to your discretion. Overall, this ice cream is really good. Mrs. Fellow recanted her complaint about the iciness when I threatened to dispose of the batch. She is much more sensitive to texture than most people. So if she can live with it, I know you will like it.

Banana Pudding Ice Cream

2 cups whole milk (2 1/3 cups)
2 cups cream
4 egg yolks
2/3 cup + 3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla flavor
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 bananas (4 to 4 ½ bananas)
Vanilla wafers

1. Pour the milk and cream and half of the sugar into a pot and bring to a slight simmer stirring occasionally.
2. As the milk and cream are heating, place the egg yolks into a bowl with the remaining sugar and salt. Beat until it is a pale, frothy liquid.
3. Once the milk/cream mixture is simmering, remove it from the heat and temper the egg mixture by adding a small amount of the hot milk/cream and stirring thoroughly. Repeat this process a couple of more times to ensure that the eggs have warmed up. You should use about 1/3 of a cup of hot cream mixture in total. 4. Then pour the complete egg mixture into the cream pot.
5. Return the pot to the heat and stir constantly until the custard reaches 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Remove the pot from the heat. Strain into a bowl.
7. Mash the bananas. I used a potato masher, but you can do this in a blender, food processor, or food mill. Add the puree to the custard and stir well to incorporate. Also add the vanilla.
8. Cool the custard to room temperature and then refrigerate overnight. Be sure to cover by putting plastic wrap directly on the ice cream. It is the air that oxidizes the bananas, turning them brown.
9. Freeze in your ice cream machine. During the freezing process, break up the vanilla wafers into bite sized pieces and incorporate them into the ice cream during the last minute of the freeze process.


Phil said...

This one sounds like a real crowd-pleaser.

Mr. Tea said...

I tried this and it is quite good! There was a slight "icy" sensation on the tongue when first trying it. However, that sensation mattered very little and didn't overpower since the ice cream was delicious!