White Pepper Ice Cream with Bananas
A lovely surprise: an ice cream seasoned with ground white pepper and served on a bed of orange-glazed bananas. This ice cream would be a wonderful touch with any fruit. You could also mix fennel with the peppercorns to alter the flavor.
- White Pepper Ice Cream
- Freshly ground white pepper - 1 tablespoon
- Milk - 1 cup
- Eggs - 10
- Sugar - 1-1/2 cups
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/4 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup (1 stick)
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Fresh Orange Juice - 1 cup
- Bananas - 4 to 6, small
- Fresh mint sprigs - 4 to 6
- Freshly cracked white pepper for sprinkling
To make the ice cream: Combine the pepper and milk in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is thick, pale in color, and forms a slowly dissolving ribbon on its surface when drizzled from a spoon. Beat in a large spoonful of the hot milk to temper the eggs, then slowly beat the egg mixture into the milk in the pan. Strain the mixture through a fine-meshed sieve to remove the pepper. Chill for 30 minutes, then add the cream and freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Pack in an airtight container and store in the freezer.
To cook the bananas: In a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat, melt the butter with the sugar and cook until the mixture turns a rich golden brown. Carefully pour in the orange juice (the caramel will bubble and spatter) and whisk until smooth. Peel and cut the bananas into 1/4-inch-thick diagonal slices. Add the bananas to the boiling mixture, reduce the heat, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bananas are cooked and coated.
To serve: Arrange the banana slices in a sunburst pattern in the bottom of 4 to 6 shallow soup bowls. Divide the sauce over the bananas, using all of it. Place a small scoop of the ice cream in the center of each. Decorate with mint sprigs and lightly sprinkle with pepper.