Instant Banana Sorbet (No Ice Cream Machine Needed) Recipe

I’ve written about Braden Perkins before as the co-creator of the Paris supper club Hidden Kitchen. He and his partner Laura Adrian closed HK a year and a half ago, and moved on to open an official restaurant they named Verjus.

Braden and I have now been friends for six years, and this has put me in the enviable position of tasting his food and cooking at his side on quite a few occasions. I never fail to be impressed by the zing and sense of fun that radiate from his dishes, and although they are too involved for me to try at home — multiple preparations come together into a single plate, in typical chef fashion — I always leave his table with inspiring takeaway ideas to jot down in my notebook.

It makes a lot of noise and at first it turns to a gritty sludge, but if you persist, it becomes this smooth, richly creamy banana sorbet that can be served right away.

A few weeks ago, Maxence and I were invited along with eight other friends to inaugurate Verjus’ new chef’s table, located on the top floor of the restaurant, in a cosy room that’s lined with the couple’s cookbook collection, and offers a bay-window view onto the incredible exterior staircases of the Théâtre du Palais-Royal across the street.

Braden served a tasting menu featuring some of the new dishes he had just finished developing, and my favorite was a slow-cooked egg served with soft polenta, frisée, and salsify, topped with pumpernickel crumbs and a touch of homemade kimchi.

And for dessert, Braden’s pastry chef Cassie Choi, a Korean-American from LA, offered her take on American classics in three desserts: she reinterpreted the pecan pie, the lemon meringue tart, and the banana split, the latter taking the form of a frozen chocolate mousse with chocolate sauce, marinated cherries, and banana sorbet.

The banana sorbet was especially good, and when Braden and Cassie came up for a chat after the meal, they explained excitedly how it was made, following a tip Cassie had read about on The Kitchn: you freeze very (very) ripe bananas, and then whiz them in the food processor. It makes a lot of noise and at first it just turns into a gritty sludge, but if you persist — as with so many things in life — it all comes together and becomes this smooth, richly creamy banana sorbet that can be served right away.

I made a note of it, and as soon as we had an overripe banana in the fruit bowl, I let it ripen even further — Braden warned me that it needed to be black-skin ripe for best flavor — and tried the technique myself. I was a little worried because my food processor is not heavy-duty by any means, but it worked as advertised, and with just one banana we were able to make two small scoops to enjoy after dinner, with a liberal sprinkle of dark chocolate shavings.

Verjus, 52 rue de Richelieu (restaurant) or 47 rue de Montpensier (wine bar), 75002 Paris, +33 (0)1 42 97 54 40 (see map).

Instant Banana Sorbet Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Each medium banana will yield two small scoops or one large scoop.

Instant Banana Sorbet Recipe

Ingredients

  • Very very ripe bananas, so ripe their skin is entirely black, preferably organic and from a fair-trade source

Instructions

  1. The day before, peel the bananas, slice them, and place them in a freezer-safe container in the freezer.
  2. Remove the banana slices from the freezer and process them in a sturdy food processor or blender. At first, it will look a mess, but if you press on, it will soon come together and become smooth.
  3. At this point, you could chose to add mix-ins, such as easy candied nuts, chopped chocolate, dried coconut flakes, caramel sauce or melted chocolate to create swirls, etc.
  4. Serve immediately, or return to the freezer for later consumption.
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  • http://www.cremedecitron.com Yolène

    This is a fantastic idea to use really ripe bananas. Plus, it sounds delicious (and I don’t have a sorbet maker).

  • joyce

    my boyfriend brought home one of these super excited to make vegan frozen treats for us. he’d throw frozen bananas, strawberries, mango, pineapple, and anything else he can freeze and put into the machine. but after a month of use, he discovered our blender can do the job just as well with lesser pieces to wash after. so, point is, for homemade sorbet, blenders work just as well too!

  • http://mrsredbootsfood.blogspot.com/ Annabel

    I’ve been making this for years! It’s also great if you mix the bananas 50:50 with other frozen fruit – strawberries, raspberries, forest fruit, whatever is on special offer chez Picard this week…. You can also add a wee bit of fruit juice or a spoonful or so of plain yoghurt and a scrap of honey to make it even more smooth and lush!

  • http://naivecookcooks.com ami@naivecookcooks

    I have over ripe banana in my freezer! Time to try this out!

  • http://www.bobbyjayonfood.com/ Bobby Jay

    I make this, too; delicious 1-ingredient dessert. It’s nice (for Americans) to add peanut butter. Maybe Nutella for French people?

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Adding peanut butter sounds so good! And re: Nutella, I’ll take the opportunity to point readers to this super simple “nutella” ice cream made with an all-natural equivalent.

  • http://www.picturespiecesandplantains.com Alissa Dragun

    Can’t wait to make this!!! Thanks for your books and inspiration!

    Alissa

  • http://thebreadloaver.blogspot.com looa

    This seems almost too easy. I have to try it. Can this be done with other ripe fruits? I love Mango sorbet so a quick and easy way to make it myself is very useful.
    Thanks for the tip.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      I’m sure could! I understand bananas produce a particularly creamy texture that you might not get with other, juicier fruit, but I can see it working really well with other very sweet fruits, such as mangoes. Less sweet fruits might need added sugar, since the cold temperature will make them taste even less sweet.

  • http://www.samanthamenzies.com/home Samantha Angela

    Isn’t this just the most delicious thing? I’ve been making it for years now and I absolutely love it.

  • http://www.idreamoffalafel.com/ Cynthia @ Vegan Restaurants Chicago Loop

    Caramel sauce, chocolate topping and nuts! No point left to reconsider whether to try it or not.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      These suggestions were meant as an either/or proposition, but who’s stopping you from adding all of them at once? :)

  • http://soupedupgarden.blogspot.fr/ Michelle Beissel

    What a clever way to eat a banana! Such a lovely colour also.

  • http://rachaelwhite.me Rachael

    I have to say that I am SO jealous that you get to eat Braden’s food so often! He and Laura visited my husband and me in Japan a couple years ago and then the following summer we were fortunate enough to enjoy a meal they prepared for us in the U.S. They are a great couple and I’m so happy that they are having such success! I’ve been meaning to try this banana sorbet/ice cream since seeing it on the kitchn and you’ve given me additional motivation. Thanks!

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Small world! :) And do let me know if you try the banana sorbet.

  • notesontea

    Frozen banana is a great base for “ice cream”, too. Check out this *delicious* Chocolate Almond Ice Cream recipe.

  • Parisbreakfast

    I’d love to know what brand of food processor you have Clotilde…searching Darty and totally mystified which one to get.
    Love banana sorbet but this method tops it.
    Merci Carolg

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      I have the Braun Multiquick, which is an immersion blender that comes with a mixer and whisk attachment. I’ve had it for years, use it often, and it’s still in great shape.

  • http://www.storiesfromemona.com Maya

    I discovered this sorbet on The Kitchn a couple of years ago and haven’t bought any ice cream (… or sorbet) ever since! It’s simply amazing! One could never tell there’s no cream in this recipe, only banana. Sometimes I’d add to it a spoon of pure cocoa powder and crushed cocoa nibs, other times a spoon of Nutella, ground hazelnuts, berries… I love all the variations! :)

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Lovely variation suggestions, thanks Maya!

  • Wendy Hutton

    My kids, who grew up in Southeast Asia where bananas were more common in our house than bread, had a great way of dealing with very ripe bananas. Push a wooden or plastic stick down the centre of each banana (preferably the small ladies’ finger variety), roll the peeled banana in chocolate sprinkles, put on a plate in the freezer and leave til frozen solid. Eh voila! A delicious snack.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Great idea, thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.tallerdecocinasabores.es Danny

    Fantastic idea!!

  • http://www.lepetitchefsb.blogspot.com LePetitChefSB

    I also came across this idea on thekitchn.com awhile back and have been making it ever since. Now our bananas never go to waste! This is wonderful with a scoop of peanut butter added to it as well!

  • Jenny

    Is the overripe banana brown on the inside too?

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      I don’t usually wait this long — just until the skin is almost entirely black.

  • Kristoffer

    can i put the banana without its peel in the freezer and wait for it to ripen? because i wanted to make banana peeling chips so i would not want to put it in the freezer because it will go black.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      I’ve never tried it, but I doubt the banana will continue to ripen in the freezer. What are banana peeling chips? I’m intrigued!

      • Kristoffer

        im planning to join a contest actually :) I have to come up with a new concept. based on my research, there are also some nutrients in the peeling so, why waste it? it may be a good snack as well :)

        • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

          Good luck with the contest!

  • http://revesculinaires.canalblog.com pequery françoise

    Très bonne idée gourmande!

  • Maurine Fischel

    I have been encouraging my grandchildren to move beyond prepared food and boxed mixes and was quite excited when my 6 year old granddaughter fixed this frozen banana dessert for us a few months ago. Now, I can’t wait to let her know that it was featured as part of a dessert at on of the top Parisian restaurants!!!

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