Homemade ice cream has been one of the most fantastic ideas we’ve had in the past year and The Perfect Scoop has seriously been the best cookbook purchase I made in the past year. It seems like each recipe we try is better than the previous one and this banana toasted coconut is no different. I’m a huge fan of anything toasted coconut and this recipe is the only ice cream I’ve been thinking about since I came across the recipe a few weeks ago.
The recipe is for a creamy and delectable French-style ice cream that takes a little bit of time to make but is more than worth the effort. I thought it was a little strange that Lebovitz instructs to toss the toasted coconut after it steeps in the heavy cream-milk mixture but the coconut flavor is fully prominent even without the actual coconut in the ice cream. I should note that the banana was not in the original recipe but we love the combination of banana and coconut and since I had some frozen slices, I mixed about in about 1 cup after the mixture was finished churning. I couldn’t have been happier with how this recipe turned out and it’s definitely one I’ll be making again.
Banana Toasted Coconut Ice Cream
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 cup sliced frozen banana
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). 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 halves (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 over an ice bath until cool.
6. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
7. After the ice cream has been frozen in the ice cream maker, transfer the ice cream to the container you’ll freeze it in and stir in frozen banana.
8. Freeze at least 4 hours before serving.