Have you heard a heart beat before? Sometimes I like to sit and watch the vein pulse on my husband’s neck. It’s rhythmic. It’s comforting. It’s my favorite feeling.
My sister and I came home this weekend. She’s in school to become a Physician Assistant. She pulled out her stethoscope, and we started listening. To my heart. It beats slow and steady. To her heart. Slightly faster than mine. To my mom’s heart. It’s even faster with a gurgle. She has Mitral Valve Prolapse.
I’ve never heard a heart before before. Not like that. It’s an incredible sound. To hear the walls of a muscle contracting. A muscle that keeps your body working. Involuntarily. It’s also an emotional sound. As steady and predictable as it is—it makes me tremble. Because I know that it wont always be steady or predictable. But that beat. That sound. It’s a gift. Today, it’s a gift. What are you doing with that gift? I hope it’s something you love. Even if it’s making roasted banana ice cream. That’s probably what I’ll be doing. As insignificant as that sounds. Roasting bright yellow bananas and watching them turn brown. Adding turbinado in place of sugar for a slightly more complex flavor. Adding extra salt just because. I am happiest when I’m creating. What makes you beat?
Preheat oven to 325°. Place unpeeled, bright yellow bananas on a lined baking sheet. Bake until skins are completely black, about 20 minutes. Turn bananas halfway through. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before handling. Peel and mash in a bowl. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Set aside.
In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, combine half and half, whole milk, heavy cream, sugars, and sea salt. Whisk to combine. Taste to make sure you have enough salt. I prefer this ice cream on the salty side.
Over medium-high heat, heat milk mixture until sugar dissolves and begins to simmer. Slowly pour a half cup of simmering milk mixture into egg mixture, whisking constantly to temper eggs (a.k.a. cook the eggs without scrambling them). Add egg mixture to sauce pan, stirring constantly for 30 seconds. Add in mashed bananas. Cook for 5 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Add vanilla extract.
Using an immersion blender or a conventional blender, pulse mixture until smooth. Pour mixture in a large bowl over a fine mesh sieve to catch any egg clumps. Cover and place in fridge to cool, about 3 hours. To speed up the cooling process, place bowl in an ice bath in the fridge, or place in the freezer sans ice bath.
Once mixture is cold, make ice cream according to your machine’s instructions.