Prep 45 mins
Cook 45 mins
- 1⁄2 fresh coconut
- 10 ounces coconut milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3⁄4 cup unbleached cane sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half
- 5 large egg yolks
- Strip the cut-open coconut half of its fresh meat. (You can extract it with a small paring knife, but be careful not to cut yourself.) Grate the coconut meat with a cheese grater or microplaner. (Watch out the knuckles!) Set aside.
- Pour the coconut milk, 1 cup of the heavy cream, sugar, and salt into a medium saucepan. Add the grated coconut meat. Bring this mixture to a small simmer, not a boil. As the mixture is coming to heat, cut a long line down the middle of the vanilla bean, lengthwise. Scrape all the seeds into the creamy mixture, and then throw in the spent pod, as well. Let it all come to a simmer together, and then take it off the heat.
- Allow this to steep at room temperature for at least one hour.
- Find another medium saucepan in the cupboard and put that in the stove. Fish around for a fine-mesh sieve, next. Pour the steeped liquid through the sieve into the new saucepan. Press down on the coconut and vanilla bean pieces to squeeze out all the flavor you can.
- Turn toward the egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk together the egg yolks. Pour the warm coconut-cream mixture into the eggs, making sure that you whisk constantly. (This may seem like it requires more pairs of hands than you have, but you can do it.) Push this new mixture into the saucepan.
- Turn up the heat again -- no higher than medium -- and warm the custard, stirring with a rubber spatula. Be sure to stir the bottom as well. When the custard coats the back of the spatula, it is done. Pour the custard through the fine-mesh sieve into the remaining cup of heavy cream. Stir it all up.
- Leave the custard out to cool for a few moments, and then place it in the refrigerator. When the custard has completely chilled, turn it into ice cream in your ice cream maker.