Ice cream was a big deal in my young life. We would often go to the malt shop for ice cream with my dad, and my first job was scooping ice cream at Baskin-Robbins. In a wonderful place in Minnesota called Bridgeman's, I’d go for a sundae, while my sisters ordered the banana splits. Now, as I am passing on my love and nostalgia for sundaes to my daughter, I try to make them as interesting as possible. I came about this banana split–inspired concoction by way of a New York Japanese restaurant, Hasaki. Although they’re known for their sushi, we go there to indulge in their intensely flavored black sesame ice cream.
In a heavy medium saucepan, lightly whisk together the milk, cream, sugar, sesame paste, and salt over medium-high heat. In a heatproof medium bowl, whisk the yolks lightly.
When the milk mixture begins to foam on the surface and the first simmer breaks, reduce the heat.
Temper the yolks by adding half of the milk mixture to them and stirring briefly, then slowly stir back into the pot.
Whisk gently but constantly over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon, 4 to 8 minutes. Do not allow the custard to boil, and be careful not to curdle the yolks.
Strain the custard through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice and cold water to make an ice bath. Place the bowl with the custard in the ice bath and let cool for 15 minutes. If you have the time,
When the custard is cold, freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a container, cover, and let ripen in the freezer until needed.
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Wrap each unpeeled banana in foil and place on a baking sheet.
Roast until aromatic but not too soft, 7 to 12 minutes. Let cool slightly.
While still very warm, carefully unwrap the bananas and, with the peel still on, cut each lengthwise in half, then cut each half lengthwise in half. Place 1 scoop of ice cream in a wine glass or tulip sundae glass. Arrange the 4 quarters of 1 banana (still in the peel) in the glass, pointed ends up, and finish with one more scoop of ice cream in the center.
Repeat to make four sundaes.