Whenever we have a guest over for dinner, I always find myself struggling to come up with at least one new dish inspired by that person. For me creating a signature dish for that person becomes my gift to them. Recently we had a friend from Thailand come for dinner, and as usual I was racking my brain for an idea. Then it came to me; in Thailand the flavours of coconut and pandan abound in sweet and savoury dishes. Pandan, ‘bai dteuy’ in Thai or ‘screw pine’ in English is a fragrant leaf with somewhat of a sweet grassy smell. It is usually paired with coconut in desserts and in savoury rice dishes.
By now, you may be asking yourself “Isn’t your blog called “Bukopandan?”. Buko is the young green coconut in the Philippines. The answer to that question is yes., but I have yet to create any dish that is made from coconut and pandan; this is the first. So, for a friend, my challenge was to create a something familiar to her taste buds, but not too easily recognizable.
- The recipe below for coconut pandan ice cream follows the traditional custard method of making ice cream, using eggs. It will yield 1 quart of ice cream
- I used farm fresh eggs, since they have a little more stiffness in the yolks which is what I want in an ice cream base
- I used a kitchen-aid stand mixer, with the ice cream maker bowl.
- I also used pandan extract to boost the flavour of the pandan. This is not required, as we will cook pandan leaves in the coconut milk. Pandan leaves and pandan extract is available in Thai Grocers or at larger Asian Food Grocers
- Consider adding a drop of green food colouring . This is very common in Thailand and the Philippines — to colour dishes made using pandan.- — - As with most ice cream make your base the night before.
Yosita’s Coconut Pandan Ice Cream
• Ice cream machine, 3 quart sauce pan, and a wooden spoon, a strainer such as a chinois.
• 8 oz heavy cream
• 8 oz coconut milk
• 6 pandan leaves
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
• a pinch of kosher salt
• 10 eggs yolks.
For the base:
In a medium saucepan heat the heavy cream, coconut milk, pandan leaves, 1/4 cup sugar, a pinch of salt, and syrup on medium until the liquid simmers. Turn the heat off on the mixture and allow to sit for 30 minutes so the pandan flavour can infuse. Now we will get started on cracking eggs.
In a large bowl, separate the yolks from the whites. You can discard the egg whites (or reserve them to be used in other recipes). Combine the yolks with the second half of the sugar until they are well mixed and thickened.
Remove the pandan leaves from the base. Temper 1/3 of the saucepan mixture into the bowl containing the egg yolks and sugar. I like to add 1 tablespoon of liquid at a time and whisk until the yolks have warmed.
After tempering, add the tempered mixture to the base in the saucepan. Then cook on medium heat until simmering. Turn off immediately. Add a drop of pandan extract for extra flavor or a drop of green food coloring for more green color, and blend. Strain the base through a chinois into a medium sized bowl.
Pour 1 cup of the base into a cup. Cover the cup with plastic wrap and place in the freezer. Cover the medium bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours, but no more than a day.
The next day, remove the frozen cup from the freezer and add to the medium bowl. Let the bowl sit out at room temperature for 5 minutes, then chop up the frozen base enough to allow it to go into the ice cream maker. Add the base to a kitchen-aid stand mixer for 20 minutes, or follow the directions on your manufacturer’s ice cream machine.