The basic formula for this ice cream comes from the great French pastry chef, Gaston Lenôtre. When Verta Grosvenor tasted it at my house, she proclaimed it “the best ice cream in the world.”

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed freshly grated coconut
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup crème fraîche, homemade crème fraîche, or cream (preferably not ultrapasteurized) plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk

Method

Heat the milk, half the sugar, and the coconut in a saucepan until it boils. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until they are light-colored and begin to form a ribbon.

When the milk mixture has cooled, spoon a little of it at a time into the egg yolks, beating constantly. When all of the milk mixture has been added to the egg yolks, pour it back into the saucepan, over low heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until a thick custard is formed—about 20 minutes, or until a candy thermometer registers 185°.

Fold the crème fraîche into the mixture, chill, and freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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