Monday, May 18, 2009

Banana-Coconut Ice Cream

Do you ever have just one banana hanging around?

Whenever I get bananas, Mr.W gobbles them up faster than I can keep up. I might get only one before they're gone... or on the way south. I know that when the brown spots arrive they're still fine to eat. I just don't like them quite that sweet.

And then there's that lonely speckled banana on the counter. Not enough to make banana bread, or anything else for that matter.

I hate to waste food. I really, really hate it. When I have to toss something because I forgot about it, or I wasn't organized enough, I beat myself up over it. Wasting food is at the top of my no-no list.

By that logic, any lonely banana must be used--so I throw it in the freezer.

Freezing bananas makes sense. Bananas a little past their prime, but perfect for recipes hold up beautifully in the freezer. They'll turn black, but that's okay. The consistency changes a wee bit, but that's okay, too. When I have two or three in the deep freeze I'll take them out to thaw overnight before using them. And pre-frozen bananas don't need to be peeled--you just snip off the end with scissors and squeeze them out of the peel. They're a snap to mash, too--just stir with a fork!

Avoiding food waste and making recipes easier. I love it.

I also love pairing banana with coconut. Two of my favorite flavors come together in perfect harmony. The sum is better than the two parts, if you will.

This time, it was in--what else?--ice cream.

I'll admit that I've been a little afraid of custard-based ice creams. Somehow the time investment of cooking, cooling... it all seemed too labor-intensive. After all, I'm an instant-gratification gal. But some previous ice cream experiments not posted here offered less than desirable results, so I knew it was time.

There's was nothing to be afraid of, after all. It was so easy to make in the stand mixer! (A blender or food processor would be an appropriate machine to use, as well.) And what a difference--the consistency during processing was almost immediately ice cream. And the taste? Well, let's just say I've been sneaking some at night.

Banana-Coconut Ice Cream
makes about 1 quart

1-3/4 cups coconut milk (about 1 can, use divided; I used reduced fat)
2/3 cup sugar or substitute
2 eggs + 1 yolk
1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon banana liqueur (I used 99 Bananas; optional)
1/2 cup light cream or your favorite liquid coffee creamer (I used sugar-free hazelnut flavor)
2 bananas, mashed

1 cup dessicated coconut (I used unsweetened, reduced fat)

Place 1-1/4 cups coconut milk in a medium saucepan and heat just to a boil.

While coconut milk is warming, beat sugar and eggs + yolk together in a stand mixer until pale yellow. Beat in flour and salt.
With mixer running (I used the whisk attachment for best air incorporation), slowly pour in hot coconut milk in a very thin stream. Add banana liqueur, remaining 1/2 cup coconut milk and light cream (or coffee creamer, if using) and beat for a few seconds to combine.

Pour entire mixture back into saucepan and set over a low flame. Cook, stirring, until thickened. It's ready when thickened custard coats the back of a spoon and a finger-trail does not immediately disappear.

Completely cool custard mixture in the refrigerator before continuing.

Blend cooled custard with mashed bananas. Process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Add dessicated coconut as an add-in. (For my ice cream maker, you process the ice cream for 25 minutes, then add-ins during the last 5.)

Enjoy immediately or freeze for future use.


Mary said...

Wow that looks delicious! And I have a bunch of frozen bananas in the freezer!

Amanda said...

Oh, you must, Mary. You must! Your friends and family will bow at your feet!

Sara said...

This looks great! Once bananas get even one spot in my house, they go untouched, so I definitely will have some around to make this.

Amanda said...

Same here, Sara; we prefer bananas on the greener side for eating out-of-hand. That's why the hubs plows through them so fast!

Would love to hear if you do decide to try this ice cream. I really, really loved it!

Grace said...

almost unbelievably, i've never had banana and coconut together, much less in an ice cream. it does sound fantastic. come to think of it, one of the dunkin donuts finalists for their new donut is filled with bananas foster and topped with chocolate and coconut. yes please!

Amanda said...

Oh, Grace, banana & coconut BELONG together. Like peanut butter & jelly... like bartles & james... like sonny & cher, er, wait...

Sam said...

That's a great tip about freezing bananas, I never knew you could do that! The ice cream sounds amazing! I love the banana/coconut combination.

Amanda said...

Thanks, Sam! Me, too--somehow banana & coconut is just so right together! Glad you find the freezing tip useful--I know it has really changed my life!

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