I don’t know about where you live, but here, in Vegas, it is hot. Think I’m being dramatic? It topped 117 degrees last weekend. Insanity. Logically, the best remedy for this heat is ice cream. Do you remember my last attempt at ice cream? Maybe I didn’t even tell you about it. It was pretty bad peach ice cream. I ended up making a rock hard frozen concoction whose only resemblance to peach was the floating yellow chunks that dotted the dessert. Not good at all. But I am determined to make some good ice cream. And I want it to be something that I can eat without feeling incredibly guilty. And what other ice cream to make than my absolute favorite (that doesn’t even exist in low fat), Ube Macapuno ice cream.
And for those of you who were excited by the prospect of a tasty, lowfat ice cream and then had no idea what I just said, let me translate. This ice cream is popular in the Philippines where purple desserts are fairly common. Ube, or purple yam, often is associated with taro or sweet potato as it is similar in texture, but its bright purple flesh sets it apart from all else. In this ice cream, Ube is also mixed with sweet Macapuno pieces. I wish I could tell you that Macapuno is coconut, but it is not quite that simple. Macapuno is known as “mutant” coconut because it is a unique type that has a much softer and thicker flesh than regular coconut. The flesh is then stripped into shreds and cooked with sugar to reveal its unique flavor. Because this type of coconut is fairly rare and expensive, often the jarred varieties are made with young coconut that has a similarly soft texture. Long story short: Purple yam and sweet young coconut shreds. And on to the recipe.
Ube Macapuno Lowfat Ice Cream
1 cup mashed and strained ube (frozen if you cannot buy fresh- but still make sure to strain the ube regardless)
2 cups 2% milk
1 cup half and half
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt
2 large egg yolks
1. Add the milk, half and half, and ube into a large saucepan and stir frequently over medium-high heat, until tiny bubbles form around the edge (which should be about 180 degrees). Do not let it boil!
2. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for ten minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine sugar, salt and egg yolks. Whisk the mixture until it is pale.
4. Temper the milk by slowly pouring half of the ube mixture into the egg mixture while stirring constantly with a whisk.
5. Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the pan with the rest of the milk/ube.
6. Cook over medium-low heat for about two minutes (or to 160 degrees), stirring constantly.
7. Pour the mixture into a bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract.
8. Let the mixture cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to speed the process. Place the bowl in the fridge overnight. That way the mixture will have time to cool completely, and the flavors will have time to develop. If you don’t have time to let it sit overnight, be sure that it is at least thoroughly and completely chilled before proceeding to the next step. The colder it is, the creamier it will be.
9. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. In the meantime, chill your freezer-safe ice cream container in the freezer so the ice cream won’t melt when you transfer it.
10. Transfer the ice cream to your container and freeze it for a few hours (or until desired consistency). Enjoy!