Of all the desserts that I’ve eaten in my thirty-something years in the South (that is, my entire life), the one that defines the South is banana pudding. I can’t think of a more definitive Southern dessert, and the funny thing is that it’s not exactly native to the South…apparently Northerners eat banana pudding too. Actually, I found out not that long ago that warm banana pudding (usually topped with a meringue) is traditional to the South, whereas cold banana pudding is native to the North…which is odd to me since in aforementioned thirty plus years in Tennessee, in all the church potlucks, family reunions, et cetera, et cetera, that I’ve attended,I have never, ever eaten a warm banana pudding (though I do plan on trying this soon so that I can make an informed decision about which I prefer, though I suspect I’ll prefer the cold banana pudding that I grew up on).
Anyway, Nana’s Frozen Custard-the custard joint that has forever ruined all other ice cream shops for me-recently announced that they would be closing their store and operating solely as a truck at local events (like the Chattanooga Market). Needless to say, I was heartbroken. Number one, I didn’t even get to eat there one more time before they announced their closing. Number two….I hate crowds and for that reason generally avoid the market! I guess I’ll have to get over it if I want to eat Nana’s custard ever again. However, I have declared that this is a great reason for me to start cracking some codes and devising my own ice cream to ruin all other ice cream.
One of the popular flavors at Nana’s was Nana Pudding….so I decided to amp up the banana ice cream that I posted a long time ago with some banana curd from The Faux Martha and some homemade vanilla wafers from Alton Brown (though you can certainly buy them if you want!). Results? Perfection. Even my banana-hating husband liked it!
Banana Pudding Ice Cream
Prep time 30 minutes, cook time 20 minutes; total time 50 minutes plus freezing
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup half-and-half
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2-3 frozen bananas
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup crumbled vanilla wafers
- 1 recipe banana curd (optional, but it really does add to the banana flavor!)
- Whisk the eggs yolks in a bowl until they are thickened and light in color.
- Combine the half-and-half, the cream, and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until the mixture is hot and the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Temper the eggs by gradually pouring about half a cup of the hot cream/half-and-half mixture into the eggs while whisking constantly. Whisk the mixture back into the saucepan. Continue to cook over medium heat while stirring constantly until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl with a lid. Pour half a cup of the base into a ramekin and freeze; refrigerate remaining base until completely cooled. Place an 8-inch metal pan in the freezer.
- When you are ready to make the ice cream, puree the frozen bananas until smooth. Whisk along with the vanilla extract and the frozen ice cream base into the ice cream base until completely incorporated. Pour into your ice cream freezer and freeze according to machine directions. Pour into the metal cake pan and freeze for at least two hours.
- Layer the ice cream with the vanilla wafers and the banana curd into a freezer-safe bowl. Freeze for several hours before serving.
This makes a quart of ice cream; serving size assumes 1/2-cup servings.
Prep time includes freezing time; depending on your ice cream maker, this could take slightly longer (my Kitchenaid attachment took 20 minutes).