Little known fact about me – my original dream after culinary school was to open a hand-crafted ice cream shop here in Ferndale, Michigan. I’ve loved making (and eating!) ice cream since my parents and I use to make it in an old wooden barrel machine when I was a kid. I also love inventing new flavors – no matter how strange of an idea you have, you really can’t screw up ice cream that much. After all, even if it’s a little weird, it’s still ice cream.
So what happened? About a week before I started culinary school, Treat Dreams opened in downtown Ferndale. It was like the owner had read my mind. It was exactly what I had wanted to do, he just beat me to the punch. And he’s now wildly successful at it. While part of me wanted to be a bit scornful, I couldn’t hold it against him. Treat Dreams is amazing and they deserve all of the success in the world.
Taking a cue from the most mellow song in the world, “Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson, I unleashed my inner ice cream chef to make this creation. The flavor can best be described as a mixture of butter pecan ice cream, bananas foster and maple syrup-drenched pancakes. Treat Dreams, if you’re reading – you can use this recipe, but you have to name the resulting flavor THE LORI.
- 2 (8-inch) pancakes, prepared using your favorite recipe (I used this one)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup pecan halves and pieces
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 ripe bananas, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2-1/4 cups whole milk
- 2-1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean
- 4 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1-1/8 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2x recipe Maple Syrup Brittle
- Cut pancakes into 1-inch pieces. Place on parchment-lined baking pan and transfer to freezer.
- In medium nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add pecans and salt; cook 4 to 6 minutes or until pecans are golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; use slotted spoon to transfer pecans to medium bowl. Reserve butter in pan.
- Add bananas to pan; cook over medium-high heat 4 to 5 minutes or until bananas are caramelized. Transfer bananas to bowl with pecans. Cover and refrigerate.
- In medium saucepan, combine milk and cream. Split vanilla bean in half; use blunt edge of a paring knife to scrape out seeds. Stir seeds and bean pod into milk mixture. Bring mixture to a slow boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Place eggs, egg yolks and sugar in mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed 2 minutes or until thick and pale yellow in color. In a slow, steady stream, add 1 cup of hot milk mixture to egg mixture. When combined; pour egg mixture into saucepan with remaining milk mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until mixture is thick enough to coat back of spoon. Strain through fine-mesh strainer set over a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly on custard; chill completely.
- Pour custard mixture into your ice cream machine and freeze according to instructions for your machine (mine took about 20 minutes). Two minutes before churning is complete, add reserved pecans and bananas, and frozen pancake pieces. Churn until everything is fully incorporated (if it’s too much for your machine to handle, you can also fold this stuff in by hand). Transfer ice cream to freezer to harden completely (at least 4 hours). Serve garnished with Maple Syrup Brittle.