Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Banana pudding ice cream


I have a confession. I’ve never had the pleasure of eating Blue Bell’s Banana Pudding ice cream. I’m not sure why. After all, I love banana pudding and I love ice cream.

As you probably know, Blue Bell doesn’t sell its ice cream north of the Mason-Dixon line (though you can find a few flavors at Hill Country here in New York), and when I go home I get caught up on eating my old favorites—Cookies ‘N Cream and Buttered Pecan, which leaves me little time to experiment. That or whenever I’m home it’s not around as it’s only in stores for three months out the year.

That said, I’ve been craving it as there’s something very appealing about a banana pudding ice cream.

Whenever I hear about the release of their seasonal flavors, I get a little sad that I won’t get to try them. And since their banana pudding ice cream is now available, I decided that even if I couldn’t buy it at the store, I could at least try to make a batch at home.




I usually make my ice cream with just cream and half and half, and don’t bother making a custard with eggs. (After all, it’s called ice cream not ice custard.) But I wanted this ice cream to be yellow and the best way I knew how to do that naturally was to make it with bright yellow egg yolks.

Sadly, the egg yolks didn’t make the ice cream yellow, but it did turn out a lovely shade of off white. But more importantly, I am now a convert for making a custard as the ice cream stayed creamy even after a spell the freezer, and was so rich that I didn’t have to eat a whole mess to feel satisfied.

I ended up straining my bananas as the first batch of ice cream I made turned an icky shade of gray, which I suspected was from banana pulp (that and I had to leave it in the refrigerator for a couple of days before freezing because I was too busy to sit and wait for my dang ice cream machine to do its magic.) But just to be safe, I also added some lemon juice, which not only kept the ice cream a pretty color (if not bright yellow) but also brightened up the flavor.

I’m kind of nuts about ingredients these days, so I toyed with using a certain grocery store’s organic vanilla wafers, but as soon as I opened the box and took a bite, I knew that there was no substitution for the proper cookie for a banana pudding—Nabisco’s Nilla Wafers. The organic one was just too thick and crisp and I had a feeling it would never soften and blend into the banana pudding ice cream, as a Nilla Wafer is wont to do.



So how is it? Well, I love it, but not having Blue Bell’s version of banana pudding ice cream, I shared some of mine with a friend who has eaten the stuff from Brenham. He took a bite, smiled and declared it very, very good. And that’s just the answer I needed to hear.

Banana pudding ice cream
Ingredients:
1 cup of cream
2 cups of half and half
3 egg yolks (save the whites for something else as we won’t be making a meringue)
3/4 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 bananas cut into slices
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
pinch of nutmeg
2 cups of Nilla Wafers roughly crushed (make sure they're not crumbs but nice chunks).

Method:
Cook the cream and half and half on medium heat until warm, do not let it come to a boil.

Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla. Add to this 1/2 a cup of the warm and cream and half and half, and then stir the egg mixture and banana slices back into the remaining cream and half and half in the pot.

Heat this on medium low for five minutes or until it gets slightly thick. Do not let it come to a boil. You’ll know it’s ready when it coats the back of your spoon.

Stir in the nutmeg and lemon juice, turn off the heat, and just let the whole thing rest for about 45 minutes.

Remove the banana slices, chill overnight or for at least four hours and then freeze according to your ice-cream maker’s instructions. About five minutes before the ice cream is finished being whipped around, add the Nilla Wafers.

Can serve with reserved banana slices. Makes one quart.

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66 comments:

HoustonGurly said...

Oh, wow! I can't WAIT to try this! I bet it's going to be awesome. I haven't even seen the Blue Bell version in stores... I'll have to keep an eye out for it. :)

Maggie said...

I. Need. This.
Sounds amazing, good work.

nicole said...

I wish I could blink and have that ice cream right in front of me. Looks SO good.

Beth said...

Homemade ice cream has been my Thing since I got an ice cream maker for Christmas, but especially this summer with tons of peaches and blackberries around. I love Blue Bell's banana pudding flavor — I can't believe I hadn't thought to make it yet! Even though there's an H-E-B right down the street, I'll definitely be making this at home.

Lisa said...

I haven't thought of Nilla Wafers in ages! This ice cream sounds (and looks) delicious.

Anna said...

We ate bluebell all the time as kids but as a 'grown up' who recognizes that weight goes ON so much easier than it goes OFF I rarely buy ice cream anymore. They don't usually have the pints in as many flavors but I noticed recently that there was a Blackberry Cobbler one. mmmmmm. I think that's on my list before banana pudding. Yours looks great, though!

Someone Being Me said...

That looks amazing. I couldn't find the Banana pudding flavor at my local store so I haven't tried it yet. I do have some of the Southern Blackberry cobbler flavor and it is divine.

Allison said...

I don't know how long you've been away from Texas, but I can remember eating Banana Pudding Blue Bell back in the late 80s or early 90s. It was one of my favorite flavors. :)

I am also a homesick Texan, so I try to get some tasty, tasty Blue Bell when I visit my family.

Josie said...

Oh my gosh, my husband was just asking me to buy some banana pudding ice cream the other day. I told him I didn't think it existed. lol. We live in Iowa so no Blue Bell ice cream here but we did go to school in Texas (and he's from Texas) so we have experienced Blue Bell... I actually don't like bananas but I would be willing to make this ice cream for him... I'll have to try it this weekend or something.

Toiling Ant said...

I remember the Blue Bell banana pudding flavor from my childhood-- and I'm 31. :-P

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

HoustonGurly--It's in stores during the summer.

Maggie--Yes you do!

Nicole--Ah, if only we could all have that power!

Beth--I love making homemade ice cream, too, it's so easy and tastes so much better.

Lisa--Thank you!

Anna--A friend told me about the blackberry cobbler flavor, that's next on my list!

Someone Being Me--Another vote for blackberry cobbler--I'm definitely getting some next time I'm home!

Allison--Hmmmm, I've been gone since the 90s. Maybe my parents just didn't buy it and that's why I'd never had it!

Josie--The banana flavor isn't that strong, though you could leave them out and just mix in the cookies and it would still taste great.

Toiling Ant--OK, you and Allison prompted me to call Blue Bell and the flavor has been around for over 20 years. I've lived in New York for 15 but that's no excuse. Clearly I was just DEPRIVED as a child! In any case, I've updated the blog post.

Julie said...

Oh don't torture me by bringing up Blue Bell ice cream. The absolute best flavor is Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. That or Vanilla Bean. I have lived all over the world and had lots of different brands of ice cream, and nothing really compares to blue bell :)

I am getting an ice cream maker next week and I will definitely be trying this flavor. Yum!

Lauren said...

Blue Bell makes me so nostalgic for Texas. Especially the banana pudding flavor.

Isaac said...

what's funny about the timing of this post is that i just tried a bowl of Blue Bell's Banana Pudding ice cream last night. I was reluctant about it but my wife who bought it said i should try it...and i am so glad i did.

Jessica said...

I live in Houston, and 2 of my brothers-in-law work for Blue Bell...it's a great company in addition to being so yummy. My favorite seasonal flavor is peaches and homemade vanilla, but I haven't tried the banana pudding. (I'm thinking I might get some today!)

Your blog is wonderful--so much fun for Texans who love to cook!

Whitney said...

I love banana pudding and I love blue bell (but also sadly live above the Mason-Dixon as well) so I will have to try this.

I am going to TX in the beginning of August for a wedding so I will track down some and give it a try for you and let you know how it is.

There is nothing better than Blue Bell Homestyle Vanilla. Man I miss it.

Memória said...

Funny how you posted this the day I made homemade banana pudding with homemade vanilla wafers.

Your ice cream looks great! You should try using homemade wafers! They are quite easy to make and taste better than the Nilla variety.

I love Blue Bell! I've tried that flavour, too, and it is awesome. I will have to try your recipe even though I could drive down to my neighborhood store and get some from Blue Bell right now. hehe.

Mary at My New 30 said...

I have total access to Blue Bell but I have never tried their Banana Pudding ice cream!! I did try their new Nutty Chocolate recently and oh my goodness... talk about good. Chocolate ice cream with milk chocolate-coated pecans, dark chocolate-coated peanuts, white chocolate-coated almonds and roasted walnuts. Maybe that can be the next one you do???

Thanks for the recipe - sounds like a winner!!

Amy C Evans said...

Dang, girl! Proud o' you! Just had some Blue Bell in Lubbock last week (Southern Blackberry Cobbler) and bought more BB as soon as I got home (Delta Blues), but now I have a hankerin' for some Nanner Puddin' ice cream! Good call on the Nilla Wafers, btw.

Farmer Jen said...

Yum-Eeee!

I miss Bluebell. My favorite was Buttered Pecan.

lisa said...

Just when I decided to cut back on such things for a few days, I have to see this. We have a thing for banana pudding in my house, and this ice cream will be a huge hit around here.

Texans in Chicago said...

I love Blue Bell banana pudding ice cream! You have to try it! We miss it so bad, we live in Chicago now :(

Robin said...

I was checking my favorite food blogs this morning...just perusing as I need to get going...when I saw the banana ice cream recipe it stopped me dead in my tracks...I had this one time in PA, at an ice cream shop (I think it was a fluke) - I would call and check every few days to see if they got any more in, to no avail. Found a Blue Bell ice cream stand in New Orleans airport and they happened to have that flavor! I am so excited about this recipe - I'm going to have to make it when my son comes for a visit from WDC.
We are both transplants and boy do we miss the food.

THANK YOU! By the way, I rushed out to buy Saveur's Texas issue - read it from cover to cover.

Also, Blue Bell ships...for a hefty price. I've never made the investment and now I don't have to.

Frank said...

I think I gained a couple pounds just reading the title.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Julie--I love their vanilla bean--so clean and pure tasting. And have fun with your ice cream maker!

Lauren--I know, it makes me feel the same way.

Isaac--Oh! Perfect timing!

Jessica--I'm a big fan of the peaches and homemade vanila as well.

Memória--Do you have a good recipe for vanillla wafers?

Mary--I keep hearing good things about the Nutty Chocolate flavor--I'm adding it to my list!

Amy--I tried other cookies, and there's just something about Nabisco's Nilla Wafers that's so right with banana pudding.

Farmer Jen--I LOVE buttered pecan!

Lisa--Mission accomplished! Enjoy

Texans in Chicago--I'm definitely trying it next time I'm home.

Robin--I've toyed with getting Blue Bell by mail, but you're right, it's pretty expensive.

Frank--That's nothing compared to what I gained by eating almost the whole quart!

Tracy said...

Heavens - I was eating Cookie's-n-Cream in high school in Houston in the late 70's and Banana Pudding helped me gain the freshman 40 at SMU! I left Texas in 1990, so I only got my fix when I would visit my folks in Rockport. Bluebell came to Charlotte a few years ago, but I work hard to resist temptation. I have to say, your version of nanner pudding is much better looking than Bluebell's!

Rachel said...

Honestly, I don't think you miss out much on the Blue Bell version. It tastes like it has a lot of extract in it to me.

Tommy said...

I just love it when you combine two types of dessert into one.

We of course could never get Blue Bell in Canada, but I am sure it is mighty fine. I remember seeing an episode of Unwrapped that featured the Blue Bell company and it seems they still use real cream and good ingredients to make their ice cream.
I am so not impressed with companies that think "frozen dessert" can be passed off as ice cream. Shameful.
On a regional note, we do have Presidents' Choice brands here and they make a killer Coconut Cream Pie Ice Cream. Luscious.

Elaine A said...

If you go to Blue Bell's site, they will happily ship you several containers of your favorite flavor or the current flavors of the month... Great gift for misplaced Texans!

laura said...

Oh my, this is making me so homesick for my mom's homemade banana pudding. It's the best thing on earth.

Soma said...

I have never had it either. But this sounds gorgeous.. have been into ice cream making binge of now.. a nice idea.

Mark Daniel Miller said...

I was JUST talking about Blue Bell's Banana Pudding Ice Cream about a day or 2 ago to someone here in NYC - and it was like telling a kid about Santa and Christmas. Their eyes opened like saucers and their mouth was gaping wide. They said it sounded like Heaven indeed...to which I told them they couldn't be more correct. :)

Thank ya for sharing this!! I'm headed home to Austin for 4 days tomorrow...and think I'll have to grab a 1/2 pint of the nanner puddin' ice cream as soon as my plane touches down. :)

~Molly~ said...

Oh good gravy!!! I mean ice cream! I mean pudding!!! I don't know what I mean! This is probably the closest dessert to heaven ever!

Molly, who has never made homemade ice cream in her life but is willing to give it a go for this!

Jerzee Tomato said...

I actually used a half tray of banana pudding I just scooped it into the ice cream maker. Only problem is its a bit solid once frozen. I recommend adding 1/4 cup rum to it to keep the texture nicer. I made it about 3 weeks ago
It is very good. Meringue and all.

Helene said...

How can anyone resist this ice cream. Looks so good. I still have to use my ice cream machine. That would be a great recipe.

Rachel said...

Not to make you jealous, but our absolute favorite seasonal Blue Bell flavor is Key Lime Pie. It usually comes out in early summer. Unfortunately, I think I missed it this year. But if I happen to find a carton at the store, it's mine!

Kevin said...

Banana pudding ice cream sounds so good!

LilSis said...

Wow! That brings back memories...the Banana Pudding, Butter Pecan, Cookies 'N Cream, and Caramel Turtle Fudge. Boy, it's been awhile! Many, many years ago, back in the day when I didn't have to watch my calories, the Blue Bell Banana Pudding Ice Cream was one of my favorites. I didn't even know that they still made it. I haven't looked for it, but I don't think they sell Blue Bell anywhere in California.

If I didn't have to worry about calories these days, I'd be making this NOW! I love the bits of Nilla Wafers in the ice cream!

Yours looks amazing!

Karen said...

I made this last night and it was awesome! I'm a big Blue Bell fan and my all time favorite is the Homemade Vanilla, you just can't beat that smooth creamy taste.

suburban housefrau said...

where in TX do you only get BB only 3 months out of the year?!?

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Tracy--Aw, thank you! Though why resist temptation? Surely Blue Bell is worth the occasional treat?

Rachel--Oh, really? Well, there's no extract here!

Tommy--For the most part they use good ingredients though you do see every so often "artificially flavored" labeled on the carton, which gives me pause. That said, it's so creamy and good you can ignore all that. And I need to take a trip to Toronto so I can try some of that coconut cream pie ice cream. Yum!

Elaine A.--It is a great gift!

Laura--Nothing like mom's banana pudding--always better than what you'll find at the store or in a restaurant.

Soma--I (and my waist) hear you about the ice-cream-making binge. I CAN NOT STOP!

Mark Daniel Miller--Lucky you! Eat well while you're at home!

Molly--It is indeed dessert heaven! And seriously, with the right machine, ice cream making is such a cinch you'll never buy it from the store again.

Jerzee Tomato--Awesome! I'll have to try that!

Helene--Thank you! And you're correct--it's pretty irresistible!

Rachel--I'm not familiar with that flavor! I'll have to keep an eye out for it next time I'm home.

Kevin--It is!

LilSis--Thank you! And I think you're right--they don't sell Blue Bell in California yet. But I reckon it'll get there at some point.

Karen--Yay! I'm so glad y'all liked it!

Surburban Housefrau--Of course you can get Blue Bell all the time but I thought that the banana pudding flavor was only an occasional treat. That said, perhaps my memory is foggy. It wouldn't be the first time!

Alice Q. Foodie said...

Looks amazing Lisa - we don't have Blue Bell out here either and my husband loves banana desserts, so I'll have to give it a try. Cheers!

codfish said...

We just got back from a trip in Savannah, GA--I had no idea that banana pudding was so big in the South. I had many a wonderful version, and have been hankering for some since our return to NJ. Ice cream would do the trick, I'm sure. : )

class-factotum said...

Blue Bell used to test market their flavors at my college. I still remember when Tin Roof came out. Yummy.

There are not many foods I find in Milwaukee that I consider to be superior to what I could get in Texas, but I have to admit that the frozen custard here would be a reason to stay. Fresh Kopp's Never Enough Chocolate is way better than Hagen Daz could ever be.

Alta said...

I love Blue Bell and prefer it over all brands, but have never seen this flavor. Sounds delicious though! I might have to figure out a way to make gf nilla wafers, and then make this ice cream!

Jesse said...

Oh my yum!!! I can't believe it never occurred to me to make my own before!! Having eaten the blue bell version many a time I daresay I am sure yours is much much better.

Christina said...

This is an amazing recipe! I grew up on Blue Bell ice cream and always look forward the seasonal favorites. This recipe might even be better than Blue Bell's! I didn't think steeping the bananas in the cream and not including them in the ice cream would give enough banana flavor but I was wrong. And the lemon juice and nutmeg make it so delicious! Thank you for another truly AMAZING recipe!

Melissa said...

That sounds great! I need to get an ice cream machine. Blue Bell has Blackberry Cobbler ice cream now. I really want to try that!

veron said...

Killing me seriously here. I had banana ice cream not too long ago and it was soooo good. Now you present me with a luscious picture of banana pudding ice cream and I can't wait to get this churning in the ice cream maker.

Kelsey said...

I am a native Texan and am sure your homemade variety is better than Blue Bell!

AT said...

You know what? I never had Blue Bell's Banana Pudding ice cream until just last year. And dang if it isn't good. Last time I was at the store, I almost picked up the Key Lime Pie flavor, but went with the Blackberry Cobbler flavor instead. Just, you know, some more ideas for recipes for you there. :)

Also, I'm with you on how sometimes the "organic" version just doesn't taste as good in recipes as the totally bad for you and full of non-organic things version. When it comes to comfort foods, you just sorta need to be bad or go home.

Bill Medifast said...

There is nothing better then Banana pudding ice cream. My children absolutely love this. I use to just buy it but now that you've given an amazing recipe I can finally save some money and make a more healthy option.

Thanks for this. Hope to see many more delicious recipes in the future.

Cheryl Arkison said...

Yum! And I've been thinking about banana ice cream a lot lately. You've saved me the hassle of sorting it out for myself.

Sarah said...

My goodness, that looks good! I'm a native Californian who lived in Texas for a bit and I must say that Blue Bell ice cream is one of the top things I miss most from TX. I'm not an ice cream fanatic but the thought of Blue Bell gets me craving it like crazy now that I'm back on the West Coast.

I believe I saw this flavor on the shelves while I was there, but never got the chance to try it. Looking at your pictures now makes me regret this sorely... I suppose it was because I hooked on Good Heavens and Birthday Cake...oh and Tres Leches was pretty amazing too.

I'm so glad I found your site! It really gets me reminiscing on the delicious flavors of Texas! Now I've got bunch of recipes to try out, including this one! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

hill country in the city serves blue bell

Dyanna said...

I'm a Texan living in KY who LOVES Blue Bell. To my surprise they started selling Blue Bell here a few months back. My DH who is from MI is now hooked on the Banana Pudding one.

Rachael West said...

I've done many pudding ice creams like this is in the past and banana pudding sounds absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing this. So good.

Karen said...

Will be making it for the second time tonight, it's that good. I am a big fan of Blue Bell. This is a wonderful recipe.

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said...

By far the best DAMN ice cream around!! OMG amazing!!

Natalie said...

Finally pulled the ice cream maker out today and made this. Only modification I made was to add a pinch of salt before I cooled it. Something about it tasted flat to be and then the salt went in and, it's what Blue Bell would taste like if Blue Bell was all natural. So utterly perfect.

Jennifer Wilson said...

I heard that all Outback Steakhouses serve Blue Bell vanilla.

spysearch said...

You get me some Lemon Blue Bell Ice cream and I'll send you some Banana Pudding made by Blue Bell. Deal? Dry ice is a blessing.

Stacey said...

Perfect excuse to finally buy an ice cream maker...and with some chocolate sauce...mmm.

'Scuse me while I wipe the drool off my chin :)

LynnPG said...

When I tried this recipe the banana flavor was difficult to distinguish. Should the bananas be more ripe than perfect-looking??

Appreciate your insight. I've got the Nila Wafers ready for another go at the recipe.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Lynn--Riper bananas do tend to have more flavor.

Brigitte said...

I made this last night, and it's gone today. It was wonderful! Added a few semi-sweet choc chips and walnut pieces, and it was a banana pudding/Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey hybrid. Soo yummy! I haven't had Blue Bell in at least 20 yrs. This was as good as I remember the real thing being. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

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