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Coconut Gelato

  • Yield: Makes about 1 quart
Coconut Gelato

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June/July 1994


  • 1 fresh coconut, (about 12 ounces)
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup cream of coconut
  • 1/2 cup sweetened angel-flake coconut


  1. Puncture the eyes of the coconut with a nail, and drain the milk into a small saucepan. Using a hammer, crack open coconut. Remove the outer shell and dark-brown skin; discard. Grate flesh.

  2. Cook coconut milk over low heat until reduced to syrup consistency, about 20 minutes. Set aside.

  3. In a large saucepan, combine whole milk and grated coconut. Bring to a gentle boil, cover, and remove pan from heat. Let steep 1 hour. Pass mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve, pressing very hard on solids. Reserve strained whole milk, and discard solids.

  4. Combine egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Cream at medium-high speed until very thick and pale yellow, 3 to 5 minutes. Return whole milk to a simmer.

  5. Add half of the warm whole milk to egg-yolk mixture, and whisk until blended. Return new mixture to saucepan with remaining milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

  6. Have ready an ice-water bath. Remove saucepan from heat, and immediately stir in cream. Pass mixture through a sieve set over a medium bowl. Place bowl in ice-water bath, and chill. Add reduced coconut milk and cream of coconut.

  7. Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Add sweetened coconut flakes, and mix in machine until combined, about 30 seconds. Store in an airtight plastic container up to 2 weeks.

Reviews (3)

  • mgiacobbe 1 Mar, 2015

    I agree that this is a more complex ice cream recipe, but it is also one of my favorites! Here is my quick tip: There is an error in here, coconut water is the clear liquid inside, coconut milk comes from blending the flesh and the water together. However I just drank the water and instead I used Agave Nectar in it's place, you could also use Brown Rice Syrup but I think Agave Nectar has a more neutral sweet taste. If you do that you can completely skip step 2 and add the Agave in step 6.

  • Nstrauel 30 Jul, 2014

    I second the comment by mangliodesola. This recipe is very complicated! The result is delicious, but imho took far too many steps and too much time.

  • mangiodasola 15 Mar, 2014

    This recipe is quite confusing. 1) If I don't have a coconut, how much coconut milk should I use? 2) I thought the liquid from the coconut is called coconut water, not milk. I read that the milk comes from the solids. 3) why do we need to reduce the coconut "milk" before steeping the regular milk and shredded coconut for one hour? Shouldn't this step come later?
    Could someone please revise this recipe to make it more feasible and comprehensible for everyone? Thank you.

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