banana ice cream / by Maci Britt

I’ve talked about my love for Bi-Rite ice cream many times before, whether in person or online. This love is partially based on appreciation of quality ingredients, on friendly employees, on location, and majorly based on roasted banana ice cream. This love even compelled me to create a Yelp account– I don’t know… I just needed to give it 5 stars somehow, and Yelp seemed like the best way. (I haven’t written another review since.)

I realize that Bi-Rite is most famous for their salted caramel ice cream, but- BANANA. Unless you have a serious aversion to the fruit, you should be eating this.

For the past handful of weeks, I’ve been doing something I like to call #smallbatchsaturday. (It’s a cool way of saying I make ice cream once per week.) Last week, while researching for this week, guess what recipe I came across on the interwebs? The weird part though is that Iwasn’t even looking for it! I can’t even remember what I googled, but there it was- a 7×7 article about Humphrey Slocombe and Bi-Rite, and of all the recipes they could have shared, bless them, they shared banana ice cream. <3

I will admit that I was skeptical at first. Is this really their recipe? Will it taste the exact same? However, I pushed through the doubt (like I was ever really not going to make it), and folks, this is good stuff. I can’t say that it’s exactly like Bi-Rite, but it comes pretty close! It’s definitely a solid, go-to banana ice cream recipe that I’ll be making again.

It’s so… banana-y! The thing to keep in mind is “the blacker the better” when it comes to bananas + ice cream. Black = flavor. You want flavor. The bananas will be the most pathetic looking ones you will ever see, but they’ll give you terrific ice cream.

banana ice cream
recipe adapted from 7x7

[ makes about 1 ½ quarts ]

1 ¾ cup heavy cream

¾ cup milk

¼ teaspoon salt

5 large egg yolks 

½ cup light brown sugar

2 very ripe bananas (almost black), peeled

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

First, caramelize the bananas. In a medium pan over medium heat, mash the bananas and brown sugar together until they become rather liquid-y. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the mixture is thick and slightly reduced, remove from heat and purée in a food processor or blender until completely smooth. Transfer to a bowl to cool. 

Next, make the ice cream base. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the cream, milk, and salt. Stir occasionally until the mixture is steaming hot and little bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks together in a medium mixing bowl. 

Once the milk mixture is hot, gently scoop out ½ cup of the milk and whisk into the eggs. Make sure you add it slowly, and whisk the eggs constantly to avoid scrambling the eggs. Slowly whisk in another ½ cup of the milk mixture into the eggs, then pour the egg/milk mixture into the saucepan and whisk with the rest of the milk and cream. 

Cook for 1-2 more minutes, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean mixing bowl. Whisk in the bananas and the vanilla, then chill thoroughly before churning in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. 

Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until firm, or eat it soft, right away.