This intensely flavored gelato will satisfy any coconut lover. For an even more tropical adventure, try adding pureed pineapple for a pina colada take on this creamy coconut treat.



Ingredient Checklist


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

  • Cook coconut water over low heat until reduced to syrup consistency, about 20 minutes. Set aside. In a large saucepan, combine 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 milk, and discard solids.

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

  • Add half of the warm 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.

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

Cook's Notes

For the best flavor, soften it slightly in the refrigerator before serving.


Pina Colada Variation

Peel, core, and puree a fresh pineapple. Cook in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced by three-quarters, about 50 minutes. Let cool, then stir into chilled custard along with reduced coconut water and cream of coconut, as directed in step 5 above.

Reviews (3)

109 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 17
  • 4 star values: 16
  • 3 star values: 40
  • 2 star values: 28
  • 1 star values: 8
Rating: 4 stars
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.
Rating: 3 stars
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.
Rating: Unrated
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.