Monday, September 13, 2010

Lychee Ice Cream

For about a year now, I've been doing a 101 Goals in 1001 Days thing. Pretty self-explanatory. One of the goals is to try to make something with lychees. (Another ongoing one is to make 12 new types of ice cream - so this meets both goals!) What is a lychee, you ask?

A lychee is: "a tropical and subtropical fruit tree native to China... The fresh fruit has a "delicate, whitish pulp" with a "perfume" flavor." It's a very distinctive smell and taste. I love lychee-flavored tea and the lychee-flavored gum that sushi restaurants sometimes give out after a meal. It reminds me of Japan. So many Japanese candies and drinks tasted like lychee. I love it! But I've never in my life had actual lychees. Until last night.

I was appalled when I opened the can. They looked disgusting. They felt disgusting. They smelled perfumey, as expected. They were squishy and when I was chopping them up, I felt like they were clams. It was just weird. I think that tainted my whole opinion of the ice cream.

Despite the custard base, which is often off-putting to me, this was an excellent ice cream recipe. Low fat? No. Good and creamy? Yes. He loved it. He had no aversions to the lychees, which hardened and stopped being mushy once they were frozen. I decided I would probably like it better if I had pureed the lychees or strained out the solids. The solids freaked me out a little. But to lychee lovers, this is probably a fantastic recipe. So. It was worth trying!

PS Gibby made a card table and tablecloth into a little photo studio for the food.


Lychee Ice Cream

Recipe by Martin Yan, celebrated host of more than 1,500 cooking shows, highly respected food and restaurant consultant, and certified Master Chef, enjoys distinction as both a teacher and author. His many talents have found unique expression in 24 cookbooks; his most recent releases are "Martin Yan's Feast: The Best of Yan Can Cook," "Chinese Cooking for Dummies" and "Martin Yan's Asian Favorites."

1 1/2 cups canned seedless lychees, drained & diced
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 egg yolks, beaten
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1. Combine the cream, milk and sugar in a saucepan or double boiler; heat until warm and the sugar is completely dissolved. Add 1 cup of the cream mixture to the yolks while whisking lightly. Gradually pour the egg mixture back into the cream mixture while continuing to whisk lightly.

2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the back of your spoon is thinly coated, about 8 minutes. Do not allow to boil or the ice cream custard mixture will curdle.

3. Add the lychee and lemon juice and let it cool in the refrigerator overnight.

4. Freeze in an electric or manual ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. If you don't have an ice cream maker you can put the ice cream custard in a bowl and put it in your freezer until frozen.

Servings: 4

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