A few weeks ago I attended a discussion about ethical raising of livestock. As part of the event, Scott Pampuch of The Corner Table provided dinner and dessert. Dinner of course was incredible but nothing on earth could have prepared me for dessert. Like just about everyone I know, I like Ice Cream, all varieties and flavors. What I wasn't prepared for were the two flavors the chef had prepared for us that night. Corn, honey and sea salt ice cream and roasted beet, basil and walnut ice cream were our choices for the night. I had to try both and had a hard time determining my favorite. In the end the roasted beet, basil and walnut was my personal favorite. It had never occurred to me that such flavors would make a great tasting ice cream.
I have made Ice cream in the past and have experimented with different flavors, but none as out there as the ones we had that night. Last year I did make a bacon ice cream that was interesting, although it really needed more of a bacon flavor. It was really a rum based ice cream with candied bits of bacon mixed into it. Since then I have been trying to come up with some way of incorporating bacon into an ice cream that would work better. A while back I had read an article about peanut butter, bacon and banana sandwiches and after trying them was impressed at how well the three ingredients worked together. Then late one night I was watching Alton Brown on Good Eats and he was making a banana ice cream. It was then that I figured I could make a banana based ice cream and then stir in peanut butter and candied bacon. The banana ice cream was very easy and I only needed to modify it a little bit, here it is,
- 6 (approximately 2 1/4 pounds) ripe bananas
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 3/4 cup agave nectar
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Place bananas in freezer and freeze overnight. Remove bananas from freezer and allow to thaw for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Peel bananas and place in bowl of food processor along with the lemon juice. Process for 10 to 15 seconds. Add corn syrup and vanilla bean seeds and turn processor on. Slowly pour in the heavy cream. Process until smooth. Chill mixture in refrigerator until it reaches 40 degrees. Transfer mixture to an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's instructions. Place mixture in an airtight container and freeze for 3 to 6 hours before serving.
When the ice cream is done that is when you mix in the candied bacon and the peanut butter. For the candied bacon you need 7 strips of bacon, you bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes then remove them from the oven and sprinkle them generously with brown sugar then back in the oven for 20 more minutes or until the brown sugar has coated the bacon. For the peanut butter I just piped out peanut butter onto some wax paper and placed it in the freezer for a half hour to harden them. When the bacon is cool you chop it and then stir the bacon and peanut butter into the banana ice cream. The ice cream was fantastic, the banana base was creamy and smooth and beautiful and the peanut butter and bacon work perfectly with the banana. After dinner I used the ice cream to make a little dessert for my wife and I.
While enjoying our dessert my wife said "I never knew you could use bananas this way" (insert inappropriate comment) It was a very tasty dessert and I am looking forward to trying different flavors of ice cream, I was thinking about a sweet potato ice cream. I am not sure how to make it work but I will figure it out as I go.