During early lockdown, my timeline on social media was loaded with sourdough starters and banana bread loaves. It was everywhere! People were stuck at home, unable to go anywhere, so they turned to the kitchen to find comfort and reassurance. Ireland ran out of flour and yeast was like gold dust! Seriously, the first thing I cooked were chocolate, chilli, booze laced cookies! I called them dooms day cookies! I think I cooked more comfort food those first few weeks than I did in my entire time in Ireland!
After about 3 weeks, I sort of went back to normal, but I remember seeing the prominent Irish food critic Lucinda O'Sullivan posting on twitter two almost rotten bananas and asking for anything other than banana bread. My answer was simple: ice-cream! Ever since I was a little kid, I have been fascinated by ice-cream. When you think about it, it is magic, flavoursome, evocative, sentimental, daring, adventurous, but most of all, it is bloody delicious!
I can basically make ice-cream out of almost anything and contrary to what many people think, it is relatively easy to make. When it comes to flavours, the world is your oyster. A couple of days after, I myself found a bottle of double cream and three overly ripped bananas in my kitchen, and naturally, I went for it. Here are the results, hope you like this recipe as much as I do!
I make my ice-cream with an ice-cream machine, but you don't have to, I'll give you instructions in the steps to make it without one; however, let me play the devil's advocate for one second and tell you it is totally worth it to get one. The first ice-cream machine I bought was the Kenwood Ice-Cream maker from Argos for 30 quid, and believe you me, it is the best ice-cream maker I've ever had, compact and powerful and it lasted for years; the only drawback is that you have to pre-freeze the bowl, but I always kept the bowl in the freezer so when I fancy ice-cream, the bowl was ready. Eventually, I bought a more professional machine that had a condenser so no need to pre-freeze the bowl, but believe you me, until last week, I still had my Kenwood ice-cream maker as backup; during lockdown, I decided to send it to a home with two little boys who love making ice-cream and now, they get to discover the joys of watching it churn a couple of simple wholesome ingredients into summer bliss.
Put the bananas, lemon juice and condensed milk in the blender or food processor and puree them until smooth.
Pour the banana mixture into the ice-cream machine and churn for 10 minutes before adding the double cream. The condense milk makes the ice-cream mixture heavier, so continue churning for 50 to 60 more minutes until ice-cream forms.
WITHOUT AN ICE-CREAM MAKER:
Pour the Banana mixture into a plastic tub and add the double cream to it, mixing it gently with a spatula until it's all well combined. Cover the container and stick it in the freezer for 4 hours.
When you notice the the ice-cream starting to thicken, around minute 40 of the ice-cream machine cycle, add the crunchy peanut butter. Churn the last 10 ten minutes so the peanut butter gets mix up with the rest of the ice-cream. Keep an eye the last 5 minutes of the process, sometimes the ice-cream gets heavy and you don't want the motor of your ice-cream to struggle too much. Transfer the ice-cream into a plastic tub with a lid and put it in the freezer for a couple of hours to finish firming up. Serve it with a sprinkle of chopped peanuts.
WITHOUT AN ICE-CREAM MAKER:
Take it out and beat the semi-frozen mixture with a fork or an electric mixer to break up the ice particles. Mix the peanut butter through it and return it to the freezer for a further 3 to 5 hours or even better, over night. Serve it with a sprinkle of of chopped peanuts.
This is a lovely ice-cream absolutely delicious and pretty easy to make if you have the patience to wait. It's summer on a plate and a great way to use your over ripped bananas.