Before making this ice cream I had been scouring the internet for a coconut ice cream recipe made with coconut milk instead of regular milk (but still with cream). And all I could find were vegan ice cream recipes!
Can I vent about that oxymoron for a moment? Ice cream has the word “cream” in it. Cream comes from cows. Dairy is not vegan. And it’s not that I’m against vegan recipes. I just think if we’re going to call it ice cream, it should be made with cream. Although I may feel otherwise once summer rolls around…
So to get to this lovely recipe, I substituted full fat coconut milk for what is usually whole milk. I only added one cup of cream so that the coconut milk flavor could shine through and I added organic coconut extract for good measure.
And the original inspiration for this ice cream came from an Indonesian dinner party I was going to. And I was responsible for the dessert.
I wanted to add some tropical flavors to the blood orange upside down cake I had been making for days, s0 I thought coconut ice cream would be a good fit. And of course I wanted some salty crunch to round out all of the sweetness, which is why I decided to candy pistachios.
They are seriously addictive and so easy to make. Don’t skip them, even if you’re just making this ice cream for a Sunday night on the couch. The crunch and salt are divine.
And after all of that, here’s the incredibly velvety, rich, real cream, coconut ice cream with candied pistachios. Happy churning!
For Coconut Ice Cream
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups full fat coconut milk (or 1 16 oz can)
2/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp coconut extract
1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup raw unsalted pistachios
3 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
3 tbsp turbinado sugar
pinch of salt
Combine heavy cream, coconut milk, sugar, coconut extract, and egg yolks in a medium sized pot. Whisk well.
Over medium heat, continuously stir mixture until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (swipe your finger, it should make a decisive line, with thick cream on the outside). Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Add the shredded coconut (or don’t if you like your ice cream without coconut bits in it).
Cool mixture to room temperature and chill overnight (or chill in an ice bath until it’s really cold if you can’t wait). Cover the surface with plastic wrap if you are cooling in the fridge.
After the base is chilled it should set into a velvety custard. Turn the ice cream machine to stir and slowly pour in the base.
After the ice cream has almost tripled in volume (25-30 minutes) turn off machine and remove attachment. If your ice cream machine starts to click before the 25 minute mark, turn it off, your ice cream is ready.
Transfer ice cream to a quart container or loaf pan lined with parchment. Let set in freezer for at least 2 hours before scooping.
For the crunchy topping, add pistachios, sugar, coconut and salt into a pot over high heat. The sugar will start melting, stir the nuts until caramelized but not burnt. Pour out onto parchment paper and let cool. You can break or chop them up if you’d like. Then sprinkle over the coconut ice cream and swoon!