Ever since I moved back to LA, my parents have been begging me to make them durian ice cream. I finally got around to it last week because I needed to use up leftover milk from my cinnamon roll recipe. I have to say it was so bomb. Definitely one of my best ice cream flavors. I posted a story on Instagram to see if anyone wanted this recipe even though it’s pretty late in the year for an ice cream recipe. And to my surprise a ton of you said yes! So here it is. This one is for you guys.
What is durian?
Wow what a polarizing fruit. Some people think it’s one of the best delicacies to come out of Southeast Asia. Some think it’s the smell of death. I of course am the former. Durian is a fruit native to Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia and Thailand. It is characterized by a spikey brownish, green exterior and a soft yellow fruit at its center. The soft yellow flesh at its center is the only edible part of the fruit. Most people will eat it straight up, but some will eat it frozen or in desserts like smoothies or ice cream. I personally like it frozen because the rich custardy center tastes like soft serve when frozen. I also like it incorporated into desserts like this ice cream recipe! The milk and sugar in most durian desserts helps tone down its intense flavor.
Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments
- Durian flesh – This is the soft, yellow interior of the durian. Make sure to not include the seeds.
- Whole milk & Heavy Cream – Adds creaminess and richness to the ice cream.
- Vanilla paste – Adds flavor to the ice cream. Like I said in recent dessert recipe, I am an almost exclusive vanilla paste user now. It has so much more flavor than vanilla extract, and I love the little black speckles you see. You can substitute with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean.
- Egg yolks – Egg yolks add richness and creaminess to the ice cream.
- Sugar – White sugar adds sweetness to this recipe.
Making my durian ice cream
First combine egg yolks and granulated sugar in a bowl. Whisk until a smooth consistency. Set aside. Next, heat the heavy cream and whole milk until smoke starts emitting from the cream. Add 1/4 cup of the hot cream to the egg mixture and mix until it is a uniform yellow color. You are raising the temperature of the egg mixture, so it doesn’t cook when mixed with the rest of the cream. Pour the egg mixture into the sauce pan and turn the heat back on. Heat the cream until it reaches 170 degrees F. A good way to test if the cream is done is to coat the back of the spoon and draw a finger through the cream. If the trail created doesn’t break, it should be done. Remove the cream from the stove. Pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl.
Add the durian flesh and use an immersion blender to incorporate it into the cream. You can also use a regular blender for this process. Next, cool the cream down to room temperature and then put it in the fridge to cool down completely. It should be in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes. After it cools down completely, pour cream into the ice cream machine and churn for 15-20 minutes. The finished ice cream should be slightly harder than soft serve. Freeze in the fridge over night before serving.
Tips on how to make the perfect lavender ice cream
- Temper your eggs – Just like in creme brûlées, it is important to temper your eggs for the cream. Add 1/4 cup of hot cream to your egg and sugar mixture. Whisk until everything is well combined and no white streaks remain. Now, it is safe to add your egg mixture to the hot cream.
- Make sure your cream is cold before churning – You will get better results if your cream is cold. Put your finished cream into the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to cool it down before adding it to the ice cream machine.
- Be careful not to over churn – The maximum amount of time you should churn your ice cream is 20 minutes. The more you churn your ice cream, the harder it becomes. A done ice cream will have the consistency of something slightly harder than soft serve.
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Durian Ice Cream
- Combine egg yolks and granulated sugar in a small bowl. Whisk until a smooth, yellow consistency forms (~30 seconds).
- Next, heat heavy cream and whole milk in a sauce pan until smokes begins coming off the liquid. Turn off the heat.
- Add 1/4 cup of the hot cream to the eggs and whisk until it turns a smooth and uniform yellow color. The goal of this step is to raise the temperature of the eggs, so they don’t completely cook in the hot cream. Pour the eggs into the pan with hot cream.
- Turn the heat back on and heat the cream until it reaches 170 degrees F. A good way to test if it’s done is to coat the back of a spoon with the cream and pull your finger through the cream. A done cream should have a thick, smooth trail that doesn’t break. Take the cream off the heat.
- Pour the cream through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl. This will get rid of any egg or milk solids in the cream.
- Add the durian flesh and use an immersion blender to incorporate it into the cream. You can also use a regular blender for this step.
- Cool the cream down to room temperature and then put it in the fridge to cool completely. The cream should be in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes.
- Pour the cream into an ice cream maker and churn for 15-20 minutes. The resulting ice cream should be slightly harder than soft serve.
- Spoon the ice cream into a freezer safe container and freeze overnight.