Growing up, I lived in the same zip code as the most famous old-fashioned ice cream store in Bangkok, ไอศครีมทิพย์รส, that, for more than four decades, have sold all kinds of Thai-style ice cream, the most popular of which is the fresh coconut milk ice cream (ไอศครีมกะทิสด). Every time our whole clan got together, we ordered from them by a truckload.
This mildly-sweet gelato is as close as it gets to that Thai-style coconut ice cream of my childhood. The texture is silky smooth and creamy. It never develops icy crystals and scoops easily right out of the freezer. I don’t remember which of my aunts came up with this recipe, but it has been with us since before I was born.
It is a gelato, really. No eggs are involved. No need to make a crème anglaise base. Mix. Heat. Stir. Cool. Churn. Freeze. Eat. Don’t you just love that?
- 2 13.5-ounce cans coconut milk (approximately 3 cups total)
- 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin powder
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup nonfat dry milk
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Mix everything together in a medium saucepan.
- Bring the mixture to a very gentle boil over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally.
- Once the sugar and gelatin have dissolved (no need to boil), remove from heat and let cool completely over an ice bath.
- Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze for 3-4 hours.
- Serve Thai-style with roasted peanuts or your favorite toppings.