Thursday, February 16, 2012

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

After trying out both styles of ice cream, I have come to the conclusion that I'm not a fan of Philadelphia style ice cream.  It's not as creamy as I prefer ice cream to be.  As a safe bet I'm going to say that any ice cream posts you see on here will be a custard base style.  It's so worth the extra time and effort.  David Lebovitz's book, 'The Perfect Scoop' has amazing tips and amazing recipes - you really need to get it, and this is one of the recipes from the book.  If you love coconut, then this will be your new favorite ice cream.  The base alone tastes amazing - and that's before you even churn it in the machine! And once it's churned in the machine, it's creamy, smooth coconut deliciousness. I like coconut, but it's really not one of my favorite things in the world, but it's that good that I scraped the sides of the machine clean to get all of the ice cream out.  But this ice cream will convert any that are on the fence. 

scooped fresh from the machine

look at how smooth and creamy it is!

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream
makes about 1 quart

1 cup dried shredded coconut, preferably unsweetened
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
5 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tsp rum

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake for 5-8 minutes, stirring it frequently so it toasts evenly.  Remove it from the oven when it's nice and fragrant and golden brown.

In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, 1 cup of the heavy cream, sugar and salt and add the toasted coconut.  Use a paring knife, and scrape all the vanilla seeds into the warm milk, then add the pod as well.  Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.

Rewarm the coconut-infused mixture.  Set a mesh strainer over another medium saucepan and strain the coconut-infused liquid through the strainer into the saucepan.  Press down on the coconut very firmly with a flexible rubber spatula to extract as much of the flavor from it as possible.  Remove the vanilla bean pieces (rinse and reserve them for another use), and discard the coconut.

Pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl and set the mesh strainer on top.  In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm coconut-infused mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.  Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream.  Mix in the vanilla or rum and stir until cool over an ice bath. 

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. 

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