It’s funny how the “rules” often seem to go out the window when it come to dessert. We try to have the garden and seasons guide our cooking, but sometimes we want coconut….and chocolate. They are not local, and we don’t even know if they are in season- but they sure taste good. And this ice cream recipe is one of the best we have ever made. This coconut ice cream has deep flavor and creamy texture…and it is easy to make.
This recipe is so easy because the ice cream is “Philadelphia-style”. Philadelphia-style ice creams omit the traditional egg-based custards and simply combine cream, milk, sweeteners and flavors. Philly-style ice cream often has brighter flavors and is usually lighter in texture (this means you can eat more). The downside of this style of ice cream is that it sometimes freezes harder and needs to soften a few minutes extra before service. And let’s face it- no one wants to wait extra time for their ice cream. But this recipe has none of those problems because of a secret ingredient, cream of coconut.
If you are unfamiliar with cream of coconut you may know it by its most common brand name, “Coco Lopez”. Cream of coconut is sweetened coconut cream and the basis of quality Pina Coladas (yes, we will have a post). Coconut cream is basically the cream that floats to the top of the coconut milk. Good stuff and much denser and richer than coconut milk. The cream of coconut brings rich coconut flavor and a smooth texture that rivals any custard-based ice cream. Cream of coconut is widely available in most supermarkets, but you can also find it at many liquor stores (that Pina Colada thing, again). Just be sure to get cream of coconut and not coconut milk, as the coconut milk is not rich enough by itself for ice cream.