One of our favorite thing to do after a good hearty Thai meal is to order their coconut ice cream with mango sticky rice. However, a good coconut ice cream is not always easy to find. We really liked the one from a small restaurant called Noodle Land around Redmond Town Center. We liked it so much, a friend asked the owner for their supplier’s phone number. I was willing to order more than I can ever eat from their wholesale supplier, sadly, when I called, the supplier no longer carry it. I went there couple times afterward, and it is not bad, just not the same. Not the rich, creamy, with shred coconut pieces inside.
Being in the Northwest, especially around Seattle area, we are spoiled with the amount of authentic Thai restaurant selection. Even though, I still haven’t able to find the lovely coconut ice cream that I once had.
This homemade coconut ice cream recipe comes fairly close, I’ve made a little modification when I made it the first time over the weekend. I think I’ll maybe try with some fresh baby coconut next time.
Homemade Coconut Ice Cream
Tools: cookie sheet, sauce pan, strainer, ice cream maker
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup half-and-half
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Place in the hot oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the coconut turns a light brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
NOTE: be very careful, my coconut turned dark brown the first time after 4 minutes in the oven, and burned 2nd time after 2 minutes, the 3rd time, I turned the temperature down to 250, and kept it in the oven for about 3 minutes with frequent checks. Not sure if it is my oven, so just make sure you keep an eye on it.
In a medium mixing bowl, beat the sugar into the eggs with a hand held mixer until thickened and pale yellow. Beat in the cornstarch and salt. Set aside.
Combine the half-and-half with the coconut milk in a heavy medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat and slowly beat the hot liquid into the eggs and sugar. Briefly rinse your saucepan and rub dry with paper towel or cloth. Pour the eggs, sugar, etc mixture back into the saucepan and place over low heat. Stir constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon until the custard thickens slightly. Be careful not to let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble. (I used double boiler for this, and it might not be necessary. I figure it’s good to be safe than sorry.) Remove from the heat and pour the hot custard through a strainer into a large, clean bowl. Allow the custard to cool slightly, about five minutes, then stir in the toasted coconut, heavy cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until cold (about 5 hours) or overnight. (This step is very important.)
Stir the chilled custard, then freeze in 1 or 2 batches in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When finished, the ice cream will be soft but ready to eat. For firmer ice cream, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 3 hours. (We froze ours overnight and had perfect, scoopable ice cream the next evening.)
This delicious recipe is from: The Ultimate Ice Cream Book: Over 500 Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, Drinks, And More by Bruce Weinstein. The ice cream was made with a Cuisinart ICE-20 1-1/2-Quart Automatic Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt, and Sorbet Maker.