In The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments (Ten Speed Press), from which this recipe is excerpted, pastry chef and author David Lebovitz shares his favorite recipes and techniques for making delicious frozen treats.
[photo book max-width=150 align=right]1 cup dried shredded coconut, preferably unsweetened
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
Big pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
5 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, or 1 teaspoon rum
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring it frequently so it toasts evenly. Remove it from the oven when it’s nice and fragrant and golden brown.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Makes about 1 quart
From Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments © 2007 by David Lebovitz. Photographs © 2007 by Lara Hata. Reprinted with permission of Ten Speed Press.
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