Autumn is creeping up on us. Where did the summer go? It always seems to fly by so fast. Summer to me, means a lot of things; sun, beach, a healthy tan, long days and warm nights and ICE CREAM!
I eat ice cream all year round because I love it so much, but once summer ends my ice cream maker goes on the shelf for a while. It is getting cooler out but not autumn weather by any means. Why does everyone rush the seasons? Look around you....all of the Halloween decorations are out in the stores and everywhere you look, new flavors at coffee retailers or restaurants include an item on the menu with a pumpkin flavoring; a flavor typical of fall. Summer is not over - officially. September 22nd will be the first day of autumn. So, savor every last bit of summer. Enjoy........ Don't rush it!
I decided to make some last batches of ice cream before I put away the ice cream maker and take out the crock pot. Coconut ice cream is the perfect summer flavor for one last hurrah! The first time I tried it, I was on vacation at a restaurant overlooking the Caribbean. I could picture the clear turquoise waters and feel the warm breeze and taste the fresh coconut.
Looking for that tropical coconut ice cream recipe, I decided to try the WILLIAMS SONOMA ICE CREAM book by Mary Goodbody. It has more than 40 recipes for ice cream, gelato and sorbet. You can start out with vanilla, move on to chocolate hazelnut and if you get really daring, you can try the avocado, pumpkin or ginger ice cream.
This recipe calls for sweetened coconut you find in the baking aisle. You don't have to hack into a coconut and scrape out the white flesh. So much easier.
TOASTED COCONUT ICE CREAM:
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
4 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
3 Tbs cream of coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract (or coconut extract)
* After trying this recipe I would substitute coconut extract for the vanilla. Needs a tad more coconut flavor!
In a heavy saucepan combine the milk, 1 cup of the cream and 3/4 cup of the coconut. Cook over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges of the pan...about 5 min. Set aside for 20 min and then strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing into the coconut. Return the milk mixture to the pan and place over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, - about 5 min.
Meanwhile combine the egg yolks, sugar and remaining 1/2 cup cream in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon at a low simmer, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Do not let the custard boil. Remove it from the heat and stir in the cream of coconut. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Stir in the vanilla.
Place the bowl in a larger bowl with ice cubes to cool custard mixture and then put plastic wrap over custard, pressing it directly on the surface. Refrigerate over night. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and when it looks like thick whipped cream, add 1/2 of the toasted coconut.Transfer to a freezer container and freeze for 3 hours or up to 3 days. When serving, garnish with the leftover toasted coconut.
How to toast Coconut: Set a small frying pan over medium heat and add 3/4 cup coconut. Stir occasionally until lightly browned - about 1-2 minutes and transfer to a plate to cool. I stored mine in a plastic freezer bag so its air tight.