5 Ingredients or Fewer

Frozen Caramel Coconut Custard

August 23, 2009
4 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Decadent and delicious, yet free of all dairy, this frozen coconut custard pleases children and adults. Feel free to make a double batch to feed a larger crowd. If you are nervous about making the caramel, you can skip that step and just heat the sugar with the coconut milk on the stove until boiling, then proceed with tempering the eggs at step 4- it will still be great. —WinnieAb

What You'll Need
  • 3/4 cup organic sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 can of organic coconut milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Heat sugar with water in a heavy 1 qt saucepan on the stove, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar is dissolved. Cook 5-6 more minutes over medium heat (without stirring) until the syrup turns amber and begins to caramelize (watch carefully so that it does not burn). Remove the pan from the heat.
  2. Being very careful to avoid burning yourself (wear oven mitts!), add 1/2 cup of the coconut milk to the caramelized sugar. Stir with the wooden spoon until smooth (if the caramel hardens up, put the pot back over low heat until the sugar melts again). Remove from the heat.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks with salt and the rest of the coconut milk.
  4. Add about 1/2 cup of the hot coconut milk/sugar mixture to the egg yolk mixture. Whisk well.
  5. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the coconut caramel and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard thickens and coats the back of the spoon (this should take about 5 minutes). Do not allow the custard to boil. Add the vanilla, stir to combine, and remove from the heat.
  6. Chill the custard in an ice bath or cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  7. Pour the cooled custard into your ice cream maker and proceed according to the manufacturer's instructions.
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I grew up in a restaurant family (my parents owned the now closed Quilted Giraffe in NYC) and I've always loved to cook. My interest in the connection between food and health led me to pursue a graduate degree in naturopathic medicine. I don't practice medicine anymore; I have a blog called Healthy Green Kitchen that I started in May of 2009 and I wrote a book called One Simple Change that will be published in January, 2014. I live in upstate New York with my family and many pets.

1 Review

Antesa J. March 24, 2015
This is, by far, the best coconut milk based ice cream I have ever eaten. It puts the Coconut Bliss brand you can find in the States to shame, and I'm fairly positive I'd be able to convince anyone into believing this is normal ice cream.

That said, I had some trouble with the recipe's instructions. Try as I might, I couldn't get the sugar/water mixture to caramelize. I have never had an issue caramelizing sugar on its own before, so wonder if the proportions of water to sugar was off somehow? I doubled the recipe to fill my ice cream maker, and used normal white caster sugar. The sugar never fully dissolved, and at one point the water seemed to evaporate and the sugar bubbled and hardened in it's pale white color until I added more liquid. I eventually gave up and added the coconut milk mixture, which softened everything up quite a bit, but it got pale yellow at best, never amber.

Also, it's worth mentioning that coconut milk based custard does not thicken up the way a dairy custard might. Coconut milk, when heated, gets a bit transparent, so you're looking more for a textured thickness rather than a visible thickness on the back of the spoon. After waiting a bit for it to thicken the way I might expect, I gave up and put the batch in the fridge to chill.

I was quite impatient at this point, so I only let it chill for about an hour before putting it into my ice cream maker. I had it churn for about 50 minutes, though with a completely chilled custard that time could probably be reduced. We also served up bowls right from the ice cream maker (again, we were impatient), so had a bit of a gooey soft serve, but the texture was fantastic and the flavor was amazing, despite the troubles I had with the caramelizing process. It tastes like caramel! My final product also looked very much like the picture on this recipe, so I consider this an overall success. :)

Letting it set in the freezer for a few hours is ideal. My second serving of this was a couple days later and the texture was perfect and made gorgeous round scoops. I will definitely be making this recipe again and again.

PS: Pairs well with chocolate cake. Just sayin'. :)