I’ve never been much of an ice cream lover.  Well, with one exception – Baskin Robins’ Pink Bubble Gum ice cream.  I’m positive that my little sister and I were the only patrons, because one day it was gone and despite stopping at every Baskin Robins I come across I haven’t had it sense.

So, I gave up on ice cream.  Turning to (I can’t believe I’m admitting this) sour gummy worms, jelly beans, and hot tamales.  Being married to an ice cream lover meant ice cream always had a home in our freezer, but I never had the urge to try a bite.

That was until we got an ice cream maker.

If ice cream has a game changer, this is it.  Homemade ice cream is delicious.  Perhaps it is because it has that indescribable made from scratch and love flavor in each bite.  Or because rather than using imitation flavors created in a lab, it uses real ingredients that are born in nature.

Whatever it is, I cannot get enough and since it’s going to be in the mid-seventies this week it only seemed appropriate to make a batch.

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Makes 1 Quart

You will need:
~ 1 cup dried shredded coconut (David calls for unsweetened but we used sweetened and it still tasted great)
~ 1 cup whole milk
~ 2 cups heavy whipping cream
~ ¾ cup sugar
~ A large pinch of sea salt
~ A vanilla bean
~ 5 large egg yolks
~ ½ teaspoon rum or vanilla (we did rum)

First, toast the coconut by preheating the oven to 350°F and spreading the coconut evenly on a baking sheet.  Bake for 3 minutes, stir, and bake for another 3 minutes.  Coconut should have a nice brown color, but be careful – it burns fast!

In a medium saucepan, heat milk, 1 cup heavy cream, sugar, salt and toasted coconut.  Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise down the middle and scrape out the brown insides.  Place both the bean shell and insides into the saucepan.  Heat until warm, cover, and let steep for 1 hour.

Re-warm the milk mixture and set a mesh strainer over another medium sauce pan.  Pour the milk mixture through the mesh strainer and press down on the coconut to extract all of the flavor.  Discard the vanilla bean and toasted coconut.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together egg yolks.  Slowly whisk in reheated milk mixture until combined.   Be careful not to add the warm milk too fast and cook the eggs!

Return the egg milk mixture back to the sauce pan and slowly heat until the temperature reaches 168F.  In a medium sized bowl, add remaining 1 cup heavy cream.  Put a fine mesh strainer on top and pour in egg milk mixture.  Mix in rum and stir until cool in an ice bath.

Chill the mixture in the fridge and then follow your ice cream maker’s instructions.  To give the ice cream some texture, we toasted an additional 1/3 cup coconut and added it in at the last minute before freezing.