Banana Cardamom Ice Cream is light and delicious reminiscent of a scratch-made banana cream pie. The bananas are infused into heavy cream along with toasted cardamom and a vanilla bean to create a refreshing year-round treat. Indulge with the addition of hot fudge or caramel sauce and toasted almonds for a treat your family will go bananas over.
Interestingly, I first discovered this recipe in a Sonoma County Wine Country magazine while visiting family in California. Now I am not a fan too much of bananas, but I love them in banana bread or muffins or banana cream pie. Cardamom is one of my favorite spices so the flavor combination intrigued me.
Banana, Cardamom, & Vanilla Infusion
Usually, I add my cream and ingredients to a blender without heating the cream, but because I am infusing the cream with the banana, cardamom, and vanilla flavor, this ice cream recipe is a little different from my Ice Cream 4 Ways recipes.
Ultimately, toasting the cardamom pods intensifies the flavor and adds a toasty essence as well. While heating the cream to infuse the flavors does add an extra and timely step, if you plan ahead, it really is simple to prepare. After toasting the cardamom pods, crush them with the side of a chef’s knife to open them up. Add them to the cream along with a sliced vanilla bean and three sliced bananas. Bring to a slight boil and then turn down the heat to a simmer and cover for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and infuse for another 20 minutes while it cools down.
Pour into a bowl and cool in the refrigerator. Additionally, you could strain the spices and banana from the cream at this point or cold infuse in the refrigerator for an additional 2 hours or overnight. Remember to slice open the vanilla bean pod and scrape any vanilla flecks into the cream after it has been strained. Make sure your cream-infused base is completely cooled before adding in the additional ingredients. Once your cream base is thoroughly chilled, you can whisk in your remaining ingredients.
Churning the Banana Cardamom Ice Cream
I use a Cuisinart 2 qt Ice Cream Maker to churn my ice cream. It is simple to use and produces fantastic ice cream repeatedly. All you need to do to prepare is freeze the insert for at least 48 hours before use. When your ice cream base is ready, remove the insulated ice cream insert from the freezer and place it in the maker. Put the stirring blade inside and place the top on. Turn the machine on. While the maker is churning, slowly add the contents from the blender.
You will know the ice cream is done when you hear the motor begin to struggle to churn. You want the ice cream to reach its thickest point, and then IMMEDIATELY scoop out into any pre-chilled ice cream containers and pop in the freezer. I purchased two Tovolo Tight-Fitting quart containers because they are stackable, easy to wash, and they come in fun ice cream colors.
Everyone lines up in our house with a spoon to taste at this point in the process. Avoid using metal in your ice cream maker, as it will scratch. Rubber spatulas are too flimsy. I prefer a hard silicone rice paddle. Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight unless you prefer a soft serve texture. I usually can’t wait. I recommend preparing this ice cream the day before so it has a proper time to freeze.
Recipe for Banana Cardamom Ice Cream
- 4 cups of organic heavy cream (preferably not ultra-pasteurized )
- 4 organic egg yolks
- 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 3 ripe bananas
- 5 whole cardamom pods
- 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 T Tapioca starch or Arrowroot powder (for thickening)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Before you start your ice cream:
You will be using an ice cream maker, so make sure to follow the manufactures instructions for your ice cream maker. I have a Cuisinart Pure Indulgence 2 QT Ice Cream Maker.
Make sure that the ice cream insulated bowl, that comes with your ice cream maker, has had at least 24 hours to freeze in the freezer. Also, it doesn't hurt to have the containers your ice cream will be going into placed in the freezer to chill as well. The goal is to have everything cold so it freezes quickly.
- For the ice cream:
- Add 4 cups of heavy cream to a large pot.
- In a heavy bottom skillet, like cast iron, toast 5 whole cardamom pods until golden on all sides (about 7 minutes). Crush with the side of a knife when cooled and add to cream.
- Slice a vanilla bean down the middle and add to cream.
- Slice 3 ripe bananas and add to cream.
- Turn on heat and bring to a low boil. Cover and turn heat down to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and steep an additional 20 minutes.
- You can either strain the cream and cool or cool and strain after 2 hours. Make sure and scrape the inside of the vanilla bean after you strain the cream to get all of those beautiful vanilla flecks.
- When the cream is completely cool, whisk in the egg yolks, maple syrup, vanilla (if you are not using a bean), tapioca or arrowroot powder, and salt.
- When your ice cream base is ready, remove the insulated ice cream bowl from the freezer and place in the maker. Put the stirring blade inside and place the top on. Turn the machine on. While the maker is churning, slowly add the ice cream base.
- You will know the ice cream is done when you hear the motor begin to struggle to churn. You want the ice cream to reach its thickest point and then IMMEDIATELY scoop out into your pre-chilled containers and pop in the freezer. RESIST any distractions at this point!!!
- Avoid using metal in your ice cream maker as it will scratch. Rubber spatulas are too flimsy. I prefer a hard plastic rice scooper.
- Chill at least 6 hours or overnight unless you prefer a soft serve texture. I usually can't wait. I recommend preparing this ice cream the day before so it has a proper time to freeze.
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