Strix's Pecan Pralines Ice Cream, Raw
Recipe by: Strix
Okay, this reads long and looks like it's a lot of work and complicated, but it it is not; I'm just very wordy This is actually very quick and easy, lowfat or fat free, and delicious! Even faster if you don't do the Pecan Pralines, and you can even eat it immediately as a "soft serve"-type dessert.
5 Large Bananas, ~very~ ripe
3/4 teaspoon salt,* scant
1/2 Vanilla Bean (OR 1 1/2-2 tsp Vanilla Extract)
2 TB Maple Syrup, Optional** (OR Agave Nectar; other)
5 Large, Fresh Dates, pitted at room temperature (Do NOT soak!)
5 TB Maple Syrup**
1/2 Vanilla Bean
Pecans, whole or pieces (up to you how many!)
At least 48 hours before serving, peel and slice the bananas and store immediately in the freezer.
Freeze your ice cream maker container and attachment, if using. Or freeze the container with which you intend to prepare it manually; preferably a flat, square dish (an 8X8 brownie-type pan is good).
Make the "caramel" or prepare the pecan pralines if using; refrigerate.
Ice Cream Directions:
Slice vanilla bean in half; scrape out the seeds of 1/2 the pod.***
Place frozen banana pieces in blender with vanilla bean seeds from half the pod and sweetener, if using, and salt.
Blend on 'hi' till fluffy and creamy smooth; but not so much as it gets liquidy. Pour immediately into ice cream maker and prepare according to manufacturer's
directions; serve or freeze in a covered container.
Pour into cold, flat dish; freeze for several hours and scrape with fork; blend in a blender or food processor; freeze, scrape again. Place back in blender or food processor and blend again to creamy; fold in the caramel and/or pecans OR the pecan pralines, if using; place back in freezer till ready to use.
Texture comes out best both methods if left to freeze overnight and served with an icecream scoop! (see pic)
For the caramel only (see recipe below): By the spoonful, drop the caramel onto surface of the ice cream, then swirl it in with a knife or chopstick; freeze.
For pecans OR the pecan pralines, fold them in carefully; freeze. Or sprinkle your servings with them before eating.
Pecan Pralines Directions:
You can make this without the pecans for a fatfree ice cream or you can omit it altogether and have a fabulous quick, rich "Buttery" Ice cream! You can also omit the caramel and just add the nuts plain.
Split and scrape the half vanilla bean.
Place the room-temperature dates in the blender with the vanilla seeds and maple syrup.
Blend on 'hi' and scrape often to get it smooth. This takes some doing; however, if you can get it mostly smooth, that's fine, since you want it to be thick and pourable and "caramel-y." Tiny bits of date are okay and won't ruin the texture.
Place in fridge to get cold and thicker.
Take your pecans and dip them in the caramel to cover thickly. Place on a plate, not touching and place in freezer till ready to add to the ice cream.
*The salt is absolutely necessary; no exceptions! If anything, reducing it to 1/2 tsp. would be the least unacceptable. It won't taste the way intended or nearly as good without or greatly reduced salt.
** Maple Syrup is not "raw"; if you are 100% purist, you can use raw agave nectar. However, agave nectar bought in stores is not raw; you will have to purchase truly raw agave syrup online. BUT you may also find that you don't need any sweetener at all! The bananas should be sweet enough, actually, if you are using very ripe bananas.
***Save vanilla pod! You can add it to lemonade, coffee, tea; or you can place it in your bag of sugar to store for lovely vanilla sugar.
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