Coconut Ice Cream
For a double coconut treat, stir 1/2 cup toasted shredded coconut into the ice cream during the final minute of processing. To make a colorful sundae, garnish the ice cream with sliced or diced tropical fruit, such as papaya or mango. For a more savory variation, serve with sliced avocados and drizzle the ice cream with extra-virgin olive oil and coarse sea salt.
- 1/4 cup firmly packed sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 3/4 cup canned sweetened cream of coconut
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Put the coconut in a large, heavy saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Stir the coconut until it begins to brown, about 7 minutes. Add the half-and-half and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
Pour the coconut mixture through a medium-mesh sieve set over a bowl, pressing on the coconut with a silicone spatula to extract as much liquid as possible; discard the coconut. Return the coconut milk to the same pan and set over medium-high heat. Add the cream of coconut and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until combined. Form a kitchen towel into a ring and place the bowl on top to prevent it from moving. Slowly pour the hot coconut-milk mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly, then pour the mixture back into the pan. Set over medium-low heat and cook, stirring slowly and continuously with the silicone spatula, until the custard thickens and a finger drawn across the back of the spatula leaves a path, about 5 minutes; do not allow the custard to boil.
Pour the custard through the medium-mesh sieve set over a clean bowl. Add the cream and stir well. Refrigerate the custard until cold, about 1 hour.
Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a chilled container, cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days. Makes about 1 quart.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Latin Cooking, by Patricia McCausland-Gallo, Deborah Schneider & Beverly Cox (Oxmoor House, 2010).