Ginger Lime Coconut Ice Cream
One of the activities that I miss the least now that we are nomads is cleaning out my freezer. My freezer was where food went to die. I would put all sorts of leftovers and bits and pieces of food in there with every intention of getting them out an reusing them. I hate to throw anything out, so I would stick it in the freezer until I could get to it: a cup of teff flour, leftover trials of healthy sweet potato casserole, a few vegetables just a little past their prime that I knew would make great stock someday.
I always had such grand, ambitious dreams for these things but most often I forgot about them. Outta sight, outta mind and all that. One thing I was always guaranteed to have was little nubs of ginger root. I would buy it occasionally for some recipe (always forgetting if I had some leftover in the freezer. Nine times out of ten the answer was yes), shred a little and then throw it in the freezer until I could think of something to do with it. Which, I never did. This month’s Recipe Redux theme was all about spring cleaning:
Go through your pantry, cupboards, freezer, or fridge; what ‘treasures’ have you found? Pick an ingredient/spice/condiment that’s been hanging out for a while and give it the attention it needs. Share a healthy recipe made using your new-found pantry prize.
This post is an homage to all those ginger nubs that never found a home and would have been my pantry… er, freezer prize had I been home to go through the freezer. And since those lovely ginger nubs spent so much time in the freezer, I am sure that was were they were the most comfortable so I figure that is where I will keep them. Only instead of letting them sit there, unloved, this ginger lime coconut ice cream will get plenty of love and get eaten in no time. Made with a base of coconut milk, honey, home-made candied ginger and Italian meringue it is sweet, light and refreshing.
It is definitely not a low calorie treat, but it is made with only a few ingredients, no preservatives or chemicals. It also has the digestive soothing properties of the ginger and not a lot of added sugar. The amount of honey can be adjusted depending on the level of sweetness wanted and the recipe is fairly customizable as far as how sweet you want it or what kind of milk. All of which makes it an ok treat in my book!
This also got me a bit out of my element, making Italian meringue was not something that I had done before but was not super comfortable with. Fortunately, this recipe was pretty forgiving and the Italian meringue adds a really nice lightness and stretches the ice cream a little further. This ice cream was easy to simply mix and throw in the freezer, no fancy ice cream maker or churning necessary! The meringue and the fat from the coconut milk keep the ice cream from freezing into an ice ball, which means you get scoopable, creamy ice cream without all the work!
I am thinking a yogurt version with lots of fruit is on the horizon next! The ginger adds some interesting spice and makes this ice cream incredibly refreshing for the hot days we are learning to live with here in Vietnam, and those hot summer days that are heading towards the US.
- Ginger Lime Coconut Ice Cream
- 10 oz fresh Ginger, thinly sliced
- 1 cup Water
- ⅔ cup Honey
- 1 can Coconut Milk (no sugar added)
- Pinch of Salt
- Juice of 1 Small Lime
- 2 egg Whites
- The Day Before:
- Combine 2 oz of ginger with coconut milk. Refrigerate overnight, shaking or stirring occasionally.
- Spray a cookie rack with pan spray and place a piece of parchment paper under the rack. Strain the coconut milk.
- Bring water and remaining ginger to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until ginger is soft and water is reduced to about ¼-1/3 cup.
- Add honey and turn heat back up to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until syrup is very thick about 12 minutes.
- Allow the ginger to cool in the syrup and then transfer to the prepared rack to drip dry. Keep the syrup and any drippings.
- The Day Of:
- Strain the coconut milk. Discard the coconut milk soaked ginger.
- Make an Italian meringue for the base of the ice cream: Start by whipping the egg whites, and the lime juice until egg whites start to stiffen. Heat the remaining honey syrup from the candied ginger until it reaches 240F (this should be about 1 minute after it starts boiling)
- With the mixer running (or, whisking constantly by hand if you happen to be staying in an apartment in Hanoi without a mixer) slowly pour the hot syrup into the egg whites. Continue beating until the egg whites are thick, silky and stand at stiff peaks.
- Gently fold in the coconut milk and the salt until just blended. Freeze for 2 hours. Meanwhile, chop candied ginger. Fold candied ginger and any syrup drippings into ice cream and return to freezer. Allow to freeze at least another 2 hours before serving.