This is the time of year that most of us are craving a breath of fresh air, a bit more sunlight and some warmth in our lives.  If you are like me and believe that ice cream knows no season, then this ice cream can help answer your winter blues.  One of my girlfriends and I have been doing movie nights lately.  Once the kids are in bed we get together for a chick flick, girl talk and some sort of sweet treat.  Last week we watched 50 First Dates because I thought the tropical setting would go perfectly with the ice cream.  (By the way, I love that movie!  I’ve seen it so many times but it never gets old.)

I have been wanting to try this particular flavor combination for a long time.  What I actually did was take toasted coconut ice cream and marble it with pineapple sorbet.  I mean, I like coconut but probably not enough to eat plain coconut ice cream, especially when I could be eating chocolate instead :)  The addition of the bright and fruity pineapple sorbet was a nice counterbalance to the creamy coconut and definitely reminiscent of one of my favorite frozen drinks.  I think this would actually work well both ways; either layered together as I did, or simply with both the ice cream and sorbet bases added to the ice cream maker at the same time to give a homogeneous mixture of the two.  It really just depends on whether you would prefer blended flavors, or whether you might enjoy a bite of pineapple and then a bite of coconut.  Whatever floats your boat – just go with it!

  • Yield about 1 quart


For the toasted coconut ice cream:
1 cup dried shredded coconut, preferably unsweetened
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream, divided
¾ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
5 large egg yolks
1 tbsp. light rum (optional) or ½ tsp. vanilla extract

For the pineapple sorbet:
2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
8-10 tbsp. sugar
½ cup water


  • 01

    To make the toasted coconut ice cream batter, heat the coconut in a 10- or 12-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and light golden brown.  In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, 1 cup of the heavy cream, sugar, and salt.  Mix in the toasted coconut.  Split the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds into the milk, and add the pot to the saucepan.  Heat until the mixture is warmed through.  Cover, remove from the heat and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.

  • 02

    Rewarm the coconut-milk mixture.  Set a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and strain the coconut-infused liquid into the bowl, pressing down with a spatula to extract as much flavor as possible.  Return the strained milk mixture to the now empty saucepan.  Discard the coconut and vanilla bean pod.  Wipe out the now empty bowl and add the remaining 1 cup heavy cream to the bowl.  Replace the mesh strainer over the bowl.  In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm coconut-infused mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly.  Return the mixture back to the saucepan.  Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula, reading 170-175˚ F on an instant read thermometer (do not go above 180˚ F!)  Remove from the heat and pour the custard through the strainer into the bowl with the heavy cream.  Mix in the rum or vanilla.  Let cool, then chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.

  • 03

    To make the pineapple sorbet batter, combine the pineapple, sugar and water in a blender or food processor.  Puree until completely smooth.  Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.

  • 04

    To finish the ice cream, freeze both the coconut ice cream batter and the pineapple sorbet batter in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Alternatively, freeze the batters one at a time in an ice cream maker and spread in alternating layers in a freezer-safe storage container.