In our house there seems to be an addiction. The craving can strike at any hour although the night-time is the hardest. We have an intense need to consume copious amounts of ice cream. Like many addictions, there seems to be a genetic link. My mother (all 100 lbs of her) eats ice cream every night! Like my mother, I also eat it nearly every evening although I can’t seem to stay as skinny as she while doing so. But despite that, ice cream is by far my very favorite dessert. I don’t have any particular favorite flavor. I’m not biased. I love them all!
When Mike and I were dating, he was more of a cake/cupcake guy. Actually, if you read my last post you already know that he still is. At that time he definitely didn’t have the same affinity towards ice cream that I did. Well let’s fast forward a bit, shall we? I seem to have rubbed off on him over the years ’cause guess who’s on the couch beside me each night with a very large bowl of frozen dairy goodness in his hands? Not to mention HB and Maddy both won’t ever turn down a bowl of ice cream. Ice cream is just one of those simple pleasures in life and I’m never one to wave off an opportunity for happiness.
In the past I’ve made homemade ice cream before but I’ve always just done a quick version… milk, sugar, fruit or other various “add-in’s.” I’ve never made the rich, smooth, decadent ice cream that comes when you use a custard base. That is until now.
You see, I used to be nervous about anything custard based that required me to temper eggs. I envisioned this to be a very difficult task which would lead to basically ending up with scrambled eggs. Fortunately, through writing this blog I’ve expanded my horizons and learned how to accomplish many new skills that I didn’t have before. One of which is tempering eggs and making custards. My first time was for a vanilla pastry cream in a strawberry shortcake pie just a mere 3 months ago. After that I realized, it’s not at all difficult.
So, when it came time to make this ice cream I knew I wanted to step up my game a bit and create a truly enticing ice cream. That is exactly what happened. So on the heels of the vanilla bean-coconut cupcakes comes another coconut creation. Why two coconut creations in a row, you may ask? Because I had a lot of leftover coconut that I just can’t bear to let go to waste. Besides, what’s not to love about toasted coconut? Or any coconut for the matter. It’s truly one of my favorite flavors. Oh, and I’m in possession of vanilla beans which I had never used before the cupcakes so now I want any excuse to use them. They’re wonderful!
This ice cream has such a wonderful toasted, slightly nutty flavor to it that captures the unmistakable flavor of toasted coconut. Originally I wanted to put a ribbon of fudge running through this toasted coconut ice cream but when I tried it, it was just too sweet. I realized the ice cream was perfect in its simplicity. The flavor needs no further compliment. So temper some eggs, make some custard and churn this luscious ice cream. You won’t be sorry.
Toasted Coconut Ice Cream Very slightly adapted from The Perfect Scoop
Makes 1 Quart
1 c. dried shredded unsweetened coconut
1 c. whole milk
2 c. heavy cream
3/4 c. sugar
large pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
5 large egg yolks
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet.
– Bake 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently until toasted evenly. Remove from oven when it’s golden brown.
– In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, 1 cup of heavy cream, sugar and salt.
– Add the toasted coconut. Use a paring knife and scrape all the vanilla seeds into the warm milk and then add the pods as well.
– Cover, remove from the heat and let it steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
– After an hour, rewarm the milk mixture. Set a mesh strainer over another medium saucepan and strain the liquid into the new saucepan. Press down on the coconut very firmly to extract as much flavor as possible. *Discard the coconut but don’t forget to rinse and save your vanilla beans! You can use them again.*
– Pour the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream into a large bowl and set the mesh strainer on top. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks.
– Slowly pour the warm coconut-infused milk into the eggs one ladle-full at a time, whisking constantly. Once all the milk has been added, scrape the warmed egg yolk mixture back into the sauce pan.
– Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
– Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream.
– Now place the bowl over another bowl filled with ice and stir over ice bath until cool.
– Chill completely in the refrigerator then churn it in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.