Whenever I go to a Vietnamese restaurant, I can’t resist ordering an iced Vietnamese coffee – I love the combination of extra strong, grainy coffee and silky sweetened condensed milk. And it turns out that this magical drink works equally well as an ice cream. If you’ve never tried real Vietnamese coffee, give it a go (the link is below). It’s strong, but it has some fruity, chocolatey notes that offer a surprising complexity of flavor.
Makes about 1 quart
- 2 cups (464 grams) heavy cream
- 1 cup (242 grams) whole milk
- ¾ cup (201-gram) can sweetened condensed milk
- ¼ cup (19 grams) finely ground Vietnamese (such as Trung Nguyen) or (in a pinch) French-roast coffee beans
- 3 large (56 grams) egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons (27 grams) light brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, milk and the sweetened condensed milk. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is bubbling around the edges. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the ground coffee. Cover the saucepan and allow the mixture to infuse for 15 minutes.
- In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the brown sugar until well blended. Return the saucepan to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the cream is heated through. Whisk about ¾ cup of the cream mixture into the yolk mixture. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining cream mixture and stir to combine. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens slightly and reaches 185˚F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl (some of the finer grounds will slip through, and this exactly what you want). Whisk in the salt. Place the bowl in another bowl filled one-third of the way with ice water. Allow to stand, stirring occasionally, until completely cool or slightly chilled. Remove the bowl from the ice bath, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the mixture for at least 3 hours.
- Process in an ice cream machine. Transfer the ice cream to a container and freeze for about 4 hours before serving (if you can wait, that is).