I have been all about toasted coconut lately (evidence here and here), and I’m not going to lie, I’m not the least bit embarrassed about sprinkling it everywhere. I’ve had a Ziploc bag with toasted coconut remnants in the fridge for almost 3 weeks straight at this point due to all of these recipes, handfuls of which have made for a delicious sweet mid-afternoon snack quite a few times.
It’s hard for me to pick a favorite out of all of the recent toasted coconut options I’ve been throwing around lately, but this one might just beat the others out by a hair. It probably really isn’t a very fair competition from the start since ice cream is pretty much my favorite dessert category ever. Especially since I started making homemade ice cream a year and a half ago. Getting my own ice cream maker has been a total game changer for me.
The entire process of ice cream making makes me giddy. I love the cooking and tempering and straining and cooling processes of making the ice cream base (it totally takes me back to my lab days). The churning and freezing is pretty magical, and licking the leftovers at the end is the cherry on top!
I’ve loved all of the ice cream flavors I’ve made so far, but this toasted coconut version is pretty spectacular. The ice cream is rich and has a magnificently natural coconut flavor. I enjoyed the texture of leaving the toasted coconut flakes in the finished product, but they can easily be strained prior to churning if you want a smoother texture. Next time I make this ice cream, I might be a little more adventurous and stir in some finely chopped dark chocolate pieces at the end. This ice cream also pairs extremely well with fruit. We enjoyed it with some slices of mango over the weekend – yum!
Here’s to the return of ice cream weather! Oh, how I’ve missed you!
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups full-fat coconut milk* (see note)
- 8 egg yolks
- 1½ cups sugar
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- In a large saucepan, toast coconut flakes over medium to medium-high heat, shaking pan often to prevent coconut from burning. Once coconut is toasted, add milk, heavy cream, and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer. Allow mixture to steep for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar, and salt together just until sugar is dissolved.
- Adjust saucepan heat to low. Temper hot liquid into egg mixture by slowly adding a ladle full of the hot milk mixture into egg mixture while stirring constantly. Then add the tempered egg mixture into the milk mixture while stirring constantly. Continue to stir until mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat.
- At this point, you can strain the toasted coconut if you prefer a smoother ice cream, or leave the toasted coconut in if you’d like the texture. I chose to leave the toasted coconut in.
- Transfer the ice cream base to a large, gallon-sized Ziploc bag (I always use a ladle for this part). Seal the bag. Submerge the bag in a bowl of ice water. Allow the mixture to cool in the ice water bath for 30 minutes, adding more ice as needed. After 30 minutes, transfer the bag with ice cream base to the fridge. The ice cream will be ready to use in 2-3 hours (it needs to get nice and chilled before churning), but I chose to split the process over two days, making the ice cream base one night and churning the ice cream the next morning, so my base spent about 16 hours in the fridge.
- Just before you’re ready to churn, add 1 teaspoon each vanilla extract and coconut extract to the bag of ice cream base. Seal and shake well to combine. Once your ice cream churner is set up and ready to go, snip the tip of one of the corners of the Ziploc bag and pour base into churner. Churn ice cream according to manufacturer’s directions.
- Once churned, transfer ice cream to a freezer safe container (I love these Tovolo containers). Lay parchment paper or plastic wrap directly on top of ice cream before putting top of storage container on to prevent ice crystals from forming.
- Freeze ice cream for at least 4 hours prior to serving. Try not to be too impatient here. If you don’t allow the mixture to freeze long enough, you’ll end up with a soupy mess (been there, done that lots of times). For best results, store your ice cream in the back of your freezer (not the door). The temperature of your freezer also plays into your final ice cream’s consistency. Ice cream is best stored at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Scoop, serve, and enjoy!
Recipe loosely based on this Food Network version.