The Complete Package made ice cream again this weekend. I know! He’s totally on a roll this year and it’s not even summer yet. This time he outdid himself. He made cherry ice cream with toasted pecans and coconut. Earth shattering doesn’t begin to describe it. It was more like life affirming. Here’s how he did it:
TCP’s Cherry Coconut Pecan Ice Cream:
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 16-ounce jar of maraschino cherries (and the syrup)
2/3 cup pecan pieces, toasted
1 cup sweetened coconut, toasted
To start, place the freezer bowl of an electric ice cream maker in the freezer overnight so it’s ready to go when you mix this up. Once the freezer bowl is ready, gather all of your ice cream ingredients.
Pre-heat your oven to 400F and place your pecan pieces and coconut in a shallow baking pan, spreading them out so they toast evenly. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the pecans become fragrant and the coconut is starting to turn a pretty golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Drain the cherries, saving the syrup in a bowl, and chop the cherries into large chunks. TCP quartered his.
While the pecans and coconut are toasting, break the eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat with a wire whisk or mixer until light and fluffy (approximately 2 minutes). Whisk in the sugar a little at a time and continue to whisk until completely blended. Add the half-and-half, milk and the syrup off the jar of cherries and whisk to incorporate. Then add the salt and vanilla extract and whisk for one minute more.
Once the ice cream base is thoroughly blended, stir in the cherries, pecans and coconut and pour into the freezer bowl of your electric ice cream maker. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, process until the ice cream thickens and/or the machine shuts off. This step usually takes about 30 minutes.
NOTE: If you have one of those old-fashioned crank ice cream makers, just pour the prepared ice cream into the canister and place in the tub. Work your magic with ice and rock salt and get your friends out on the porch to help you crank. Once you can’t crank it without thinking your arm is going to fall off, it’s done. Electric is easier, but cranking is all kinds of retro fun.
This is the torturous part. The Complete Package likes to scrape the finished ice cream into a freezer-safe air-tight container and pop it into the freezer to set up completely. Luckily, he let me sample it before it took a freezer nap. And then we rested. And it was good.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give this a solid 10. Cherries mixed with pecans and coconut are one of my favorite flavor combinations of all time. Dropping all of that into homemade ice cream just makes it sing. Or maybe that was me.
Truth in Development: This recipe is based on a knock-off recipe for Ben & Jerry’s Sweet Cream Ice Cream Base my husband found on the internet back in 2003. Is it authentic? Who knows for sure. But it’s the cornerstone of every great ice cream he’s ever made, so we’re sticking with it. If it ain’t broke…