Caren McSherry whips up the yummiest ice cream ever in under 5 minutes—flat!
EASY & DELISH | Talk about fingers in pies. Celebrity chef Caren McSherry is one of the hardest-working (and most upbeat) women in the food business in Vancouver. Not only is she hands-on at her cooking school, the longest-running private school of its type in the country, but she also runs the Gourmet Warehouse, her large specialty store on East Hastings Street that sells thousands of competitively priced gourmet food items and housewares to appreciative local foodies. Then there are her media gigs: weekly columnist for TV Guide magazine, twice monthly appearances on Global TV’s Saturday morning news and once a month on Bill Good’s radio talkfest. Oh, and there are the cookbooks.
McSherry has been involved with six cookbooks, three in collaboration with local chefs and three on her own. In A Pinch, published in 2010 by Whitecap Books, continues to sell briskly because of recipes that make cooking and entertaining a breeze—like the one for fresh banana ice cream that she shares here with Frugalbits readers.
McSherry says if there’s one reason to own a food processor, this ice cream is it. “It’s magical—the frozen fruit whirling around while you pour in the cream that transforms instantly into ice cream. You can scale it [the recipe] up or down with regard to richness: whole milk [her preference], half-and-half cream or the whole hog with whipping cream. Whatever your choice, this is a slam-dunk dessert.”
Caren McSherry’s Fresh Banana Ice Cream
Makes 2 cups (500 mL)
“Save up and freeze all those single bananas that turn dark and that no one wants to eat except for my mother! Cut them up and keep them [the one part of this recipe that must be done in advance] in a container in the freezer. Then, when you’re stuck for a dessert, you will amaze guests with what you can make in a pinch.”
4 very ripe (black) bananas
1 cup (250 mL) half-and-half cream (10–12%)
1/2 cup (125 mL) whipping cream
2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla paste
2–3 tbsp (30–45 mL) hazelnut or amaretto liqueur (optional)
Peel the bananas and cut into 2-inch (5-cm) pieces. Arrange in a single layer on a tray and freeze for at least three hours until rock hard. Combine the creams in a spouted measuring cup and keep in the refrigerator until ready.
Once the banana is frozen solid, place the pieces into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 10 to 12 times to break up the frozen pieces—the consistency should be that of coarse cornmeal. With the machine running, slowly pour the chilled cream mixture into the feed tub. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the vanilla paste and liqueur (if using). Pulse a few more times to mix.
Serve immediately, or cover well and freeze for up to four days—though it won’t last that long!
Photo: by Amid Hattie from In A Pinch, courtesy Whitecap Books