There are many joys to be found in cooking, one is the diversity of flavours you can find in different variants of the same ingredients. This recipe draws upon the not-so-familiar piloncillo sugar; an earthy brown sugar with hints of caramel. It has been around for at least 500 years and popular is popular in Oaxaca, though it is not commonly used here. Thankfully it can be easily found in many Latin American grocery stores. Like many less-refined sugars, it is not as sweet helping gift you with a creamy, yet light ice cream that plays nicely with others.
If you have not explored the bounty of sugars on they market, I would review a few guides to them.
This recipe is a veganized version from the lovely book, Baked: New Frontiers in Baking (as has many of my recent updates, some more successful than others. This one falls under "more successful").
Banana Pecan Piloncillo Ice Cream* You can also use jaggery, or brown sugar, or some other unrefined sugar. I have used a mix of dominican sugar and jaggery.
In a small saucepan over low heat, combine 3 T water and the cinnamons stick. Simmer until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the piloncillo and stir until it is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3/4 c firmly packed, grated piloncillo*
- 8 very ripe bananas, peeled, broken into pieces, sealed in a bag, and frozen**
- 1/2 c cashew cream***
- 1/2 c chopped, toasted pecans
Remove the cinnamon stick from the syrup and pour the syrup into a blender. Add the cashew cream and bananas and blend until smooth and mushy.
Pour mix into ice cream maker and freeze according to directions. When the ice cream is nearly done, add the pecans, let mix. Transfer to a freezer-safe container.
** Alton Brown has a recipe that recommends freezing the bananas in their peel, then peeling them after about 45 minutes. I have not decided this is the must-do method for me, but I am going to continue to experiment with it.
*** I used a failure of a cashew-based ice cream. You can also use this recipe here.