I've always loved making homemade ice cream and remember family reunions when I was a little girl - Great-Grandma Thomas's homemade vanilla ice cream was always being hand-churned by someone. The ice cream never made it to the freezer because everyone ate it as soon as it was thickened. I've always been partial to homemade vanilla ice cream because of that childhood tradition. And I've always had an ice-cream maker for days when I craved Great-Grandma's homemade ice cream, and had that time to make it. Those days didn't come very frequently because of the time it took to freeze it . . . the patience of adding more ice and waiting and waiting until it was ready. That problem is now solved thanks to my generous sister, Lilly. Last spring, I visited her in Texas and she had a modern mini ice cream maker that you kept the bowl in the freezer at all times so that whenever you had an inkling for ice cream, all you had to do is whip it up and it would be frozen in15-20 minutes. While we were there, we made a root beer float ice cream . . . I fell in love with her machine and for my birthday in April she sent me one too. Since then I've strayed from the homemade vanilla a bit and have been trying some delicious frozen yogurts and rich gourmet ice creams. This recipe came with the instruction manual and has become a family favorite this summer so I thought I'd share.
*Don't be intimidated by the multiple steps in this recipe. They are not difficult and once you try this delicious ice cream, you'll be willing to make those steps over and over again.
1/2 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 whole vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large bananas, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons rum flavoring
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup Ghiradelli 60% cacao dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
In a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, bring the milk, cream, vanilla bean (including the pod), vanilla extract, and the salt just to a boil. Remove from heat, let mixture steep for 30 minutes.
While the milk/cream mixture steeps, heat the sugar with water in a large skillet until it begins to sizzle.
Remove the vanilla pod from the steeped milk/cream mixture; discard pod.
Stir the lemon juice into the bananas and then mix the bananas into the steeped milk/cream. Cover and refrigerate mixture 1 to 2 hours, or overnight.
Turn on the Cuisinart ice cream maker; pour the banana mixture into the frozen freezer bowl and let mix until thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes.
While the ice cream is churning, melt the chocolate chips in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water; reserve.
When the ice cream is almost fully churned, gradually add the sugar syrup; let mix until fully combined.
If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in the freezer for about 2 hours.
Serve and enjoy.