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Elegant Eating from Downton Abbey: Banana Ice Cream

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Bananas in Edwardian England? Why, of course. It is true that bananas were not as available to the public during the Edwardian era in England as they are today but if you were rich, they were shipped in whenever you wanted. During this time at the abbeys, bananas were not just peeled and eaten as a snack as we do today. They were reserved for special dishes and in most cases these dishes were desserts. During the spring and summer months the cooks at the abbeys would often make this elegant, rich and creamy dessert. Of course during this time they didn't have ice cream machines so it was the duty of the scullery maid (Daisy at Downton Abbey) to churn the ice cream by hand.

This is a very simple ice cream to make. You just want to remember to puree the bananas and if they begin to turn brown, add a little lemon juice to the bananas.

For more on the food of Downton Abbey, visit the free Facebook page called The Food of Downton Abbey!

Ingredients needed to make Banana Ice Cream:

  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla
  • 3 bananas, pureed


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk the half-and-half and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture just begins to simmer.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and vanilla.
  3. Whisk 1 cup of the hot cream into the egg yolks.
  4. Slowly pour the egg yolk mixture into the hot cream and stir, over medium heat, until the mixture thickens (it becomes a custard).
  5. Pour the custard into a glass container and chill 1 hour.
  6. Stir the pureed bananas into the chilled custard.
  7. Spoon the mixture into an ice cream machine and churn 30 minutes.
  8. Place the ice cream into the freezer until ready to serve.

The internationally bestselling cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals," is now in it's third printing and available worldwide in both hard cover and e-book versions. The paperback version will be released March 4, 2014.



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