Written and photography by Tracy Patrick
Summer is a great time to enjoy frozen treats, and these simple recipes are so delicious, they won’t have time to melt, even as we are. The following concoctions celebrate the versatility of bananas and plain ol’ vanilla ice cream. Each recipe has six ingredients or less (a couple extra if you’re feeling fancy) and can be modified with other flavors or ingredients in your pantry.
Yield: 6 – 9 pops / Prep time: 30 minutes
One special treat stands out among my barefoot, roadroaming, summertime memories: the frozen chocolate banana pop. It’s a popsicle with less sugar and more nutrients, yet just as satisfying as eating an ice cream bar, I promise.
If you’re a fan of Arrested Development, you’re already familiar with the frozen banana. But did you know the stand in the show was inspired by real-life banana stand competitors? For a hearty laugh, check out this “Arrested Development’s Bluth’s Original Frozen Banana ‘Copycat’ Recipe” from California-based food blogger and cookbook author Irvin Linn: eatthelove.com/frozen-banana. If you’ve never had a frozen chocolate banana pop, it’s just too simple not to try.
• 4-ounce bar Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate (any brand will do, even chips or melts)
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or any flavorless oil)
• 3 large, ripe bananas
- Line a baking sheet with wax paper (parchment or foil
- Cut the bananas in half or 2- to 3-inch chunks and
insert a skewer or treat stick into each piece.
- Place on a baking sheet and freeze for about
- Melt the chocolate and oil together in a double boiler
(or heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering
water) or in the microwave for about a minute. Stir.
- Dip one chunk of banana at a time into the melted
chocolate, let excess chocolate drip off, and if desired,
roll or sprinkle with garnish(es) of your choice.
- Return to the baking sheet and freeze for at least 30
minutes before serving. Pops can be stored for up to a
month, but they’re guaranteed to not last that long.
Classic Vanilla Ice Cream
Yield: 1½ pints / Prep time: 20 minutes, plus several hours cooling, chilling, freezing
In 2016, I received an ice cream machine as a Christmas gift. Cue excitement and ambition, and who cares that it is winter? I quickly began pinning recipes, but the base of most of my creations is a classic custard. Vanilla ice cream never goes out of style. It’s silky. It’s creamy. It goes with everything.
• 1½ cups heavy cream
• 1½ cups whole milk
(If you want a thicker ice cream, use 2 cups heavy cream and 1 cup whole milk. You can adjust the ratio of these two ingredients to your preference.)
• 2/3 cup sugar
• 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
• 6 large egg yolks
• 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Simmer cream, milk, sugar, and salt until sugar completely dissolves, about
5 minutes. Do not boil. Remove pot from heat.
In a separate bowl, whisk yolks. Slowly whisk about a cup of the hot cream into the yolks, then whisk the mixture back into the pot. (This prevents cooking the eggs.) Gently simmer the mixture on medium heat for about 7 minutes, or until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Strain through a sieve to remove any clumps. Cover and chill for at least 4
hours or overnight. Pour into an ice cream machine and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Scoop into an airtight container and store in the freezer until needed.
Kahlua and Cream Milkshake
Yield: 2 shakes
Make good use of the ice cream’s versatility, and by that I mean spike it with Kahlua and cream and drink it through a straw! One way to control your alcohol intake is to make these milkshakes so rich and decadent you won’t go back for seconds. Overindulgence can be achieved in just one glass.
• 4 ounces Kahlua Rum & Coffee Liqueur,
plus 1 ounce, separated
• 4 – 5 scoops vanilla ice cream
• ⅓ cup whole milk (up to ½ cup)
• Whipped cream
• Chocolate syrup (optional)
Mix Kahlua, ice cream, and milk into a blender. Blend until well-mixed, pour into a glass, top with whipped cream, a drizzle of Kahlua, and a little chocolate syrup if desired. For a mocha twist, add about 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup to the blender. Keep in mind the addition of syrup means you will need less milk. Err on the side of less milk before you start to blend, then add more liquid to achieve desired thickness.
NOTE: You can use vanilla bean instead of extract, or a vanilla paste. For vanilla bean ice cream, cut 1 or 2 vanilla beans lengthwise in half and scrape into custard mixture after cooking. If you want a different flavor, you can use this base, but skip the vanilla and add your favorite flavor, fruit, or nut.