Bananas are ubiquitous on this Caribbean island and have a natural affinity with brown sugar, one of Jamaica’s most famous exports. The first printed recipe for banana ice-cream is thought to be from Caroline Sullivan’s The Jamaica Cookery Book, published in 1893, and is not too dissimilar to the one we feature below. We’ve roasted the bananas for some smoky depth, and the muscovado and rum provide delicious, dark caramel notes.
- 4 bananas, plus 2 extra, sliced, to serve
- 75 g (⅓ cup firmly packed) brown sugar
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 900 ml pure cream
- 330 g (1½ cups) caster sugar
- 7 egg yolks
- 600 ml thickened cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 egg whites
- 110 g (½ cup firmly packed) dark muscovado sugar
- 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
Spiced rum sauce
- 250 ml (1 cup) dark rum
- 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 2 cinnamon quills
- 10 cloves
- ½ tsp ground ginger
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 45 minutes
Freezing time 30 minutes
Preheat oven to 180°C. Place bananas in a baking dish, scatter over brown sugar and pour over lemon juice. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly caramelised on one side. Turn over and cook for a further 15 minutes or until caramelised. Set aside to cool completely.
Meanwhile, place two-thirds of the pure cream in a saucepan over medium–high heat and bring to just below boiling point. Whisk caster sugar and egg yolks in a bowl to combine, then slowly add the warm cream, whisking constantly. Pour mixture into a clean saucepan and cook, stirring, over medium heat for 5 minutes or until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and stir in thickened cream and vanilla extract. Cover surface with plastic wrap and set aside to cool completely.
Transfer roasted bananas to a food processor. Add remaining 300 ml pure cream, processing until smooth, then add custard mixture, processing to combine. Cover surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes or until chilled. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing to extract as much banana as possible. Transfer to an ice-cream maker and churn until frozen.
Meanwhile, to make muscovado meringues, preheat oven to 110°C and line two oven trays with baking paper. Place egg whites in an electric mixer and whisk almost to stiff peaks. Combine sugars in a bowl, then add to egg whites a tablespoon at a time, whisking until mixture is stiff and glossy and sugar has dissolved. Dollop 4 mounds of meringue on each prepared tray, then use the back of a spoon to make an indent in centre of each mound. Bake for 1½ hours or until crisp and dry, swapping trays halfway through cooking. Turn off oven, leave door ajar and allow to cool completely.
Meanwhile, to make spiced rum sauce, place all ingredients and 125 ml water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Increase heat to medium–high and simmer for 15 minutes or until reduced by one-third. Cool completely.
Top meringues with extra sliced bananas and a generous scoop of banana ice-cream, then serve drizzled with spiced rum sauce.
Photography Chris Chen.