Sweet bananas provide a lovely bright counterpoint to the rich pecans and brown sugar that permeate this luxurious ice cream. Top with fresh banana slices and a tasty caramel sauce, or serve over French toast. Pecans, like most other nuts, have a high fat content, making them particularly susceptible to rancidity. Extend their shelf life by storing in an air-tight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In bowl toss pecans, butter, and salt to combine. Spread in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted; stir once.
In a medium saucepan combine brown sugar and 1-1/2 cups of the cream; cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is melted. In a small bowl whisk together yolks and remaining cream; gradually whisk in 3/4 cup of the hot sugar mixture. Gradually add to mixture in saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbles just begin to form (190 degrees F). Remove from heat. Whisk in granulated sugar and vanilla. Cool 30 minutes. Cover; chill 4 to 24 hours.
In a large bowl mash bananas (1 cup); gradually stir in chilled mixture. Add to a 4- to 5-quart ice cream freezer along with milk. Freeze according to manufacturer's directions. Stir in pecan mixture. If desired, ripen at least 4 hours. Top with banana slices, if desired. Makes 3 quarts (24 1/2-cup servings).