Pandan Coconut Ice Cream
With hot weather all year around 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 home is by churning up my own ice cream. By doing so, you can enjoy 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 Indonesia cuisines. Pandan and coconut are two flavors that best described Indonesian traditional desserts. Dadar gulung, klepon, and kue putu 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 with 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 of 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 one 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 a 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 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 to use egg yolks for this recipe to help improving 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 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 traditional market, baking supply, or grocery store. However, let me tell you that the homemade one will taste so much batter than artificial pandan extract. Thus try making your own at home by following my Pandan Extract recipe if you have access to fresh or frozen pandan leaves.
Notes : I top the ice cream with some grated palm sugar.
Pandan Coconut Ice Cream
Pandan and coconut are two flavors that best described Indonesian traditional desserts. How about making them into an ice cream?
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream (360 ml)
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk (460 ml)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100 gr)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/2-3/4 cup fresh pandan extract (120-180 ml)
In a medium saucepan, stir heavy cream, coconut milk, and salt over medium heat until it starts to simmer. Keep stirring to avoid curdling. Remove from heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until smooth and pale yellow color.
While whisking egg yolk mixture constantly, gradually add hot cream mixture. Return to saucepan to low heat. Immediately add 1/2 cup pandan extract to the mixture while stirring. Add more until you get the desired green color.
Stir the mixture slowly, but constantly, scraping the bottom and sides of the pot until the base is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. (Do not let the mixture boil or you will end up with egg curdles)
Let the mixture cool completely. Cover the mixture and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
Process the ice cream base in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
Transfer the churned ice cream to a freezer container. Freeze for least 4 hours before serving.
Check out my fresh pandan extract recipe. When using the store bought pandan extract, use only few drops until you get the desired green color and add some fresh pandan leaves during the cooking process to make the base more fragrant.