Purple Yam and Coconut Ice Cream (#45-D/E)

18 01 2013

This week’s recipe features another tuber: the purple yam.  Purple yams are commonly used in the Philippines, where they are known as ube.  In North America, you can buy purple yams at most Asian green grocers.  You can also find them in some conventional grocery stores, alongside potatoes and sweet potatoes.  Purple yams have a reddish-brown skin and the most delightful purple insides.

purple yam, purple sweet potato, ube

Look at this gorgeous colour!

Purple yam and coconut are a common combination in Filipino desserts, such as ube macapuno cake and halo halo.  With this in mind, I thought I’d give purple yam and coconut ice cream a try.

This is a super simple ice cream recipe.  You puree peeled and boiled yams with some coconut milk, soy milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt and – ta da! -  your custard is done and ready for chilling.  Yes, finally, another dairy-free and egg-free ice cream recipe!

I had a bit of a chuckle as I was pouring the custard into the ice cream maker.  It was super thick and goopy because of the richness of the coconut milk and the starch in the yams, and the colour reminded me of McDonald’s Grimace character.  As for taste, the Official Taster claims it’s “gentle”.  Huh???  I will interpret that to mean “an ice cream with a soft, pillowy texture, wonderful coconut flavour, and subtle undertones of purple yam”.

Keep in mind this ice cream freezes up quite hard overnight.  Enjoy it as soon as it is chilled to serving consistency.  If you need to freeze it longer, give it a good 15 to 20 minutes on the counter to warm up before scooping.

Purple Yam and Coconut Ice Cream (makes about 1.5 L)

2 cups of purple yams, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 – 13.5 oz (400 ml) can coconut milk
1.5 cup soy milk (or substitute dairy milk)
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of sea salt

  1. Place the yams into a medium-sized sauce pan, cover with water, and bring to boil.  Let simmer for about 20 minutes, until the yams are fork tender.  Drain the yams, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water.
  2. Tip the yams and the reserved cooking water into a blender and puree until smooth.

    Purple yam puree, purple sweet potato puree, ube puree

    Purple yam puree

  3. Add the coconut milk, soy milk, sugar, and salt into the blender.  Puree until very smooth.
  4. Chill overnight in the fridge.
  5. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Purple yam coconut ice cream, purple yam ice cream, ube ice cream

The Official Taster says: “Gentle.”





Toasted Coconut Ice Cream (#17-D)

4 07 2012

Since Week #3, my sister has been bugging me to make coconut ice cream.  I have learned that, on occasion, she indulges in Coconut Bliss, an organic, dairy-free ice cream that is made from coconut milk (obviously).  It also happens to cost about $9.00 a pint!  No wonder I’ve been nudged on many an occasion to crank out a batch of coconut ice cream for her!  Since it’s my sister’s birthday this week, I will oblige.  So, here we have it: Toasted Coconut Ice Cream, the first “Happy Coconut” recipe in the 52 Scoops repertoire.  Dairy-free and delicious!  And, it cost me less than $5.00 to make a whole litre.

Coconut milk can be a bit confusing.  When I was little, I thought the water inside the coconut was “coconut milk”.  This liquid is, in fact, coconut waterCoconut milk is made by grating the meat from a mature coconut and extracting the liquid from the meat (e.g. squeezing it through cheese cloth).  The first pressing yields a luscious, thick, flavourful milk with a high fat content.  The leftover coconut meat can then be soaked in warm water and squeezed a second or perhaps even a third time.  Subsequent pressings result in a thinner milk.  When coconut milk is left to settle, the fattier components separate and rise to the top.  This thick, buttery substance is coconut cream.

inside young coconut

The Official Taster scooping the soft, gelatinous meat from the inside a young coconut. This coconut would be too young for making coconut milk, but I thought it’d be a cool photo to include nonetheless!  (Mekong Delta, Vietnam, 2011)

I wasn’t ambitious enough to make my own coconut milk for this recipe, so I opted for the canned variety instead.  There is a huge range in the quality of canned coconut milk.  I usually use Aroy-D brand, which contains 60% coconut extract and 40% water.  Beware of cheaper brands that use less coconut extract, more water, and various additives and preservatives such as potassium metabisulphite E224.  Potass-a-what?  No thanks!

This recipe yields a very rich ice cream with a wonderful texture and chew from the toasted coconut.  The ice cream does freeze up harder and icier compared to other recipes containing dairy cream, so it is best enjoyed within a few hours of churning.  If you must store it longer, let it soften up in the fridge for at least 30 minutes prior to scooping.

A note to egg-freers: This recipe was also tested omitting the eggs, but, alas, I am sad to report that the results were unsatisfactory.  The ice cream was immensely hard and icy and seemed to lack depth in terms of flavour.  But don’t worry, there is lots of action in the test kitchen, and I assure you there will be egg-free Happy Coconut recipes in the near future!

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream  (Makes about 1 L)

2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
2 – 13.5 oz (400 ml) cans of coconut milk
1 cup of dessicated coconut

Read the rest of this entry »








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