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I am a very serious ice cream fan. I grew up eating homemade ice cream, churned by hand in an old wooden ice cream maker that leaked ice-cold water and rock salt from the slats. My mom usually opted for a simple custard-based vanilla recipe, sometimes dressed up with Grape-Nuts cereal or shot through with slivers of chocolate. Pale yellow from the bright orange yolks of our hens, each bite was thick and creamy, coating my tongue. I'd scrape the bowl and ask for seconds.
I didn't have an ice cream maker until recently, so I spent my college years eating my way through pints of Ben & Jerry's and cones at the scoop shop in town, which featured locally-driven, offbeat flavors like lavender mascarpone, dark chocolate ramp, and strawberry cider.
Now that I'm a proud owner of my own ice cream machine (I use a basic Cuisinart model), I like to experiment myself.
I'm not picky: Ice cream is ice cream. I'm just as happy eating a Mr. Softee cone as a bowl of pistachio gelato from an artisan Brooklyn brand. But above all else, there is something extremely satisfying about finding a way to make truly excellent ice cream at home.
It's important to look for a recipe that freezes well (instead of staying soft serve-like) but is also creamy and luscious. Thanks to a full can of coconut milk, today's recipe achieves this balance. The addition of whole milk and cream helps to mellow out the coconut flavor, and infusing the dairy with fresh ginger adds spice and heat.
This ice cream is incredible without the final step of adding the rum (so feel free to leave it out), but just two tablespoons transforms the dessert from excellent to I feel like I'm lying on a beach on St. Lucia.
Try it this weekend! Make it ahead and freeze it, serve it for a Memorial Day party, and prepare yourself to be everyone's favorite person: bartender and pastry chef in one.
- 400 milliliters coconut milk
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons rum