Endless Ice Cream: Lemongrass, Coconut and Ginger
Ahh, lemongrass. One of my favorite flavors. Every once in a while they have stacks of fresh lemongrass stalks at the grocery store. I happily buy several stalks of it and use it in soups, sauces, and stir-frys. I recently read that you can turn supermarket stalks of lemongrass into your very own plant, giving a bounty of lemongrass whenever you want it. After tasting this ice cream I think I’ll have to start growing my own- I anticipate making this happening many, many times.
Note: If you’ve never worked with fresh lemongrass before, here’s a quick run-down of what you’ll need to do: Trim the root end from the bottom and the papery end from the top of the stalk. You should be left with a 2″ to 4″ piece. Remove the outer leaves one at a time until the leaves are no longer brownish or papery. The remainder should be about 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick. Grab a rolling pin, hammer, or anything heavy and sturdy. Beat the crap out of the pieces of lemongrass. This releases the flavorful oils. Finally, cut the bruised pieces into 1/4″ slices. You’re good to go.
Lemongrass, Coconut & Ginger Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart
- 1 can (400ml) good quality coconut milk
- 1/4 cup (20g) unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup (50g) trimmed, bruised and sliced fresh lemongrass (see note above)
- 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cup (350 ml) heavy cream
- 1/4 cup (60ml) ginger syrup
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 Tablespoon rum
- 1/2 cup (75g) chopped crystallized ginger
- Fill your largest bowl with lots of ice and a little bit of water. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut milk, coconut flakes, lemongrass and sugar and salt. Bring just to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain through a mesh sieve—discard the lemongrass and coconut—and return to the (cleaned) saucepan. Add the cream and ginger syrup. Reheat over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Slowly drizzle the hot cream into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. When it has all been incorporated, return to the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Strain though the mesh sieve and into a medium-sized bowl. Place the custard bowl into a large bowl of ice water. Whisk the ice cream until cool. Whisk in the rum. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours or up to 3 days, until well chilled. Churn according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Add the chopped candied ginger during the last 2 minutes of churning. Store in a shallow container, covered with plastic wrap and an airtight lid, in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
Don’t throw away the stiff, fibrous leaves!! They’re FULL of flavor. You can’t just chew them, but you can boil/steep them in water to extract that awesome lemon flavor. Use for tea, as soup base, sorbets, and a host of other things.
Also, a note about selecting stalks to grow – look for ones that haven’t been trimmed so close to the base – best if there’s a few roots still attached. We always try to leave some roots on for our farmers market customers.