Pandan Coconut Ice Cream is made from the combination of pandan extract with rich creamy coconut milk, the two flavors that best described Indonesian traditional desserts.
With hot weather all year round in Indonesia, it is not surprising that my freezer is always stocked with pints of ice cream. The perfect way to enjoy my sweet frozen treats at home is by churning up my own ice cream. By doing so, you can enjoy the ice cream flavor you will never find in shops, just like this Pandan Coconut Ice Cream.
Celebrating Indonesia’s Independence Day on August 17 this year, I was inspired to create some recipes inspired by Indonesian cuisines. Pandan and coconut are two flavors that best described Indonesian traditional desserts. There are a few of many Indonesian desserts that use pandan and coconut as their main ingredients. They are abundant tropical produces in Indonesia. Hence, it is no surprise that Indonesian cuisines are dominated by the combination of aromatic pandan and savory coconut.
Tips for Making Pandan Coconut Ice Cream
1. Make your own coconut milk
The use of coconut is not exclusive to Indonesian cuisine. However, let me tell you that Indonesia is in fact the world leader in coconut production. It is used for many sweet and savory Indonesian cuisines.
You can make either coconut milk or coconut cream from a coconut. The difference between the two is similar to the difference between milk and have cream. They are made from the same ingredients, but coconut cream has a higher fat content than coconut milk. The coconut milk definitely brings savory, rich, and nutty flavor to the ice cream base.
For convenience, you can also use the processed ones in cartons or cans at the supermarket. However, I usually make my own coconut milk from freshly shredded coconut meat because it is much cheaper and tastier here. Moreover, you can still use the leftover shredded coconut pulp after the milk has been extracted from the shredded coconut flesh. Use the fresh coconut pulp or toasted pulp for topping and gives texture to the ice cream.
2. Keep stirring the mixture
Cooking coconut milk on high heat may result in curdling. Coconut milk contains proteins and fats which can separate from the liquid at high heat. When coconut milk curdling, you will notice the creamy milk turn into a thin, watery liquid mixed with white lumps. Those lumpy bits tend to ruin the texture and taste and you do not want this to happen when making this ice cream recipe. You can avoid curdling by heating the base with low heat and stirring since stirring stops the proteins and fats from binding.
3. Add Egg yolks
I really recommend using egg yolks for this recipe to help to improve the stability of the ice cream and making the ice cream creamier, chewier, and denser.
Adding eggs to make ice cream requires some caution as heating eggs in an ice cream base might result in curdles of cooked eggs in your ice cream. To prevent this from happening, you need to temper the eggs by warming the coconut milk-heavy cream-sugar on its own and whisk a small scoop of the hot mixture into the eggs yolks and sugar. This is making the egg yolks less likely to curdle when you stir them into the pot with the rest of the milk to cook over direct heat. Heat everything slowly until it is thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon and then turn off the heat. Please note not to let the mixture boil.
4. Make your own pandan extract
Pandan is a tropical plant that grows in South and Southeast Asia. The leaves are long and slender green leaves of a member of the pandanus palm or screwpine family. Some desserts would just use the leaves for the taste and aromatic fragrance. You can also find the other in bright green hue color specifying using Pandan Extract just like this recipe.
You can buy pandan extract from a traditional market, baking supply, or grocery store. However, let me tell you that the homemade one will taste so much better than artificial pandan extract. Thus try making your own at home if you have access to fresh or frozen pandan leaves.
Notes: I top the ice cream with some grated palm sugar block.
More Pandan Recipes
While you are here, don’t forget to check out these delicious pandan recipes!
- Putu Ayu (Steamed Pandan Coconut Cake)
- Klepon (Pandan Glutinous Rice Balls with Palm Sugar Filling)
- Kue Lumpang Ijo (Pandan Sticky Rice Cakes)