I’ve professed several times how much I love my ice cream maker (definitely in my top three kitchen appliances!!) However, lately I thought it was about time I made up a concoction for those who don’t have a maker. I know many who make the “instant banana ice cream” using frozen bananas along with whatever flavours you like – it’s an epic quick-fix for a hot summer afternoon!!! Yet this time I thought I’d concoct an option that lasts a little longer in the freezer and hits that creamy spot.
This ice cream dish is light and tasty in flavour. Scrumptious with some crepes, turned into a banana split, or simply as it’s own hero. Dates act as the sweetener, and add a gorgeous caramelly flavour – if you’re keen for more caramel you could increase the quantity of dates, or make a date-based Caramel Sauce to go alongside 🙂
To be honest, it sets sliiiiightly more icy than a churned or store-bought version, but if you follow the recipe and fold carefully (keeping air well incorporated) then icyness will be kept to a minimum and you’ll have a delicious post dinner snack on hand!
Also note to allow a good amount of softening time before serving. Due to the lack of ‘extra’ ingredients, all homemade ice creams (even the churned kind) will require a little bench top sitting to ensure they’re at optimal consistency. But when they’re ready, they’re AMAZING!
Banana Caramel Ice Cream (makes approx 1.5 L)
1/2 (tightly packed) cup dried dates
2 cups chopped fresh bananas (about 3)
1 cup full-fat milk
1 & 1/2 cups cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
Place the dates in a small bowl, pour boiling hot water over until just covered (about 1/2-3/4 cup) cover with a plate and leave to soak for at least 3 hours (overnight is great).
Drain the water from the dates (discard water) then tip the dates into a food processor. Add the bananas and milk then blitz it on a high speed until you have smooth mixture.
In a separate bowl, beat the cream, vanilla, and salt until you have soft peaks (about the consistency you would whip cream to serve with cake).
Pour the date/banana mix into the cream and fold very gently by hand until well combined. Be careful not to overmix or beat as you don’t want to knock the air out of it (otherwise it will become quite icy as it freezes).
Pour it into a freezable container and place in the freezer for at least 5 hours to set.
When serving, allow time for it to sit and soften on the bench first (may need up to 30mins) homemade ice creams will set firmer than store-bought.