Banana Ice Cream Sundae with Bourbon Caramel

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Chefs love bananas in whimsical desserts that take classic flavor combinations and update them. This sundae from Chef Bill Corbett (Absinthe Group) in San Francisco is a great example. Following Corbett’s recipe you’ll learn to make old-school brown sugar crumble, banana ice cream and bourbon-laced caramel. It’s a homey-flavored dessert, with star-chef appeal.

Makes 8 to 10

Banana Ice Cream Ingredients

  • 3 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1 and ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 large ripe bananas (with brown spots on skin)
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Fresh banana slices to garnish sundae

Bourbon Caramel Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 orange peel
  • 1/4 vanilla bean, scraped

Brown Sugar Crumble Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 6 oz cold butter in 1-inch cubes


  1. Place half-and-half and cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally and remove from heat.
  2. In medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks
  3. Temper cream mixture into the eggs and sugar by gradually adding small amounts, until a bout a third of the cream mixture has been added
  4. Pour in remainder and return entire mixture to pan, placing over low heat
  5. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon and reaches 170 to 175 degrees
  6. Pour mixture into a container and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in vanilla extract, mashed bananas and salt
  7. Place in refrigerator uncovered for ½ hour. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Pour into ice cream maker and process according to manufacturers directions, to solid ice cream form (25 to 30 minutes) Serve as is for soft serve, or freeze another 3 to 4 hours for hard ice cream.
  8. To make Bourbon Caramel: heat small amounts of the sugar in a deep pot until it liquifies, gradually adding a little more sugar, until all liquifies. Once caramel is dark and starts to get a little foamy, deglaze with remaining ingredients adding half the liquid and letting the sugar dissolve, then adding the remaining liquid. Let caramel simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for 30 minutes before straining, cooling and serving
  9. To make Brown Sugar Crumble: combine first three ingredients in food processor and pulse to mix thoroughly. Add cold, cubed butter and pulse until mixture is sandy and there are no visible butter chunks. Spread into cookie sheet and bake at 325 until golden; about ½ hour. Cool and break into crumble.
  10. To assemble: Fill small footed glasses with crumble, top with scoop of ice cream, drizzle with caramel. Garnish with a fresh banana slice.

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