Coconut Ice Cream

Makes about 5 cups

  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 whole vanilla bean
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup (packed) shredded unsweetened coconut

Pour the half-and-half into the top of a double boiler. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and toss it into the half-and-half. Heat over medium heat until the half-and-half starts to steam.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer (or in a bowl with a handheld mixer) at high speed until very fluffy. With the motor running, add the sugar very gradually, stopping a few times to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until all the sugar is added and the mixture is very fluffy and pale yellow.

Fish the vanilla bean out of the half-and-half and let it cool for a minute. Scrape the seeds out of the pod; return the seeds to the half-and-half and chuck the pod.

Ladle about ½ cup of the hot half-and-half slowly into the yolk mixture while whisking constantly. Pour the egg mixture slowly back into the half-and-half, whisking constantly. Stir the ice cream base over the simmering water until it thickens and coats a spoon. Be patient, this can take 20 minutes or so.

Pour the ice cream base into a bowl. Whisk in the coconut. (You’ll get more flavor out of the coconut by whisking it into hot ice cream base. Set the bowl into a large bowl with an inch or two of water and several ice cubes. Stir the ice cream base until cool.

Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. Pack into a container, cover tightly, and freeze 4 to 5 hours, until well set

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