Lychee Ice Cream
By June Naylor
Photos by Meda Kessler
In-person cooking classes are back at The Table Market & Culinary Studio in Fort Worth. Veterans of these intimate affairs liken the hands-on experiences to an interactive dinner party. You sample and learn to make food from East and West, including dumplings, curries, pho, breads and more. Table co-owners Hao Tran and Dixya Bhattarai count Lychee Ice Cream as one of their favorite dishes. A fruit native to Southeast Asia and especially popular in Chinese and Hawaiian cooking, the lychee has a rough, pebbled husk and a silky flesh; it’s aromatic, sweet and often enjoyed raw. Hao and Dixya like to garnish the ice cream, which is sweet but light with a subtle floral taste, with mint leaves. Edible flowers or raspberry syrup are pretty, too.
Lychee Ice Cream
Makes 1 1/2 pints or 6 servings
- 2 cups fresh lychee, peeled and seeded or 1 can (20 ounces) See Note.
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup milk
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- Pinch of salt
Note For fresh lychee, peel the husk away from the stem end with thumbnail, as if peeling a tangerine. Use only perfectly white flesh; any that is mottled or yellowish-brown is fermented and should be discarded. Use a paring knife to score flesh and split the fruit into two; remove brown stone and discard. If using canned variety, drain. Find both in Asian grocers or order online.
Puree the lychee in a blender or food processor. Stir cream into lychee puree and set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine sweetened condensed milk and milk; cook over low heat until it starts steaming, just a couple of minutes.
In a bowl, whisk egg yolks with sugar and salt. Pour heated milk into egg mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, stirring constantly while pouring to temper eggs.
Pour egg-milk mixture back into the pot. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring and scraping the bottom constantly, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
Remove from heat, then stir in the lychee cream mixture. Let cool completely.
Follow instructions on your ice cream maker. Chill, scoop and serve. (This version is a soft ice cream so allow adequate time in the freezer.)