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I’ve been longing to give Vietnamese coffee gelato a whirl for a while. It’s a natural flavor choice for Katty’s Kitchen–my base gelato recipe is made with that magical ingredient, sweetened condensed milk, just like Vietnamese iced coffee. If you like a nice, strong Vietnamese iced coffee,  you’re gonna love this gelato recipe. I solemnly swear!

As anyone who knows this kat personally can attest, I rarely lack for extra energy. So, I steer clear of caffeine and stick to decaf, but feel free to fire up with high test if you like the extra boost. It’ll keep ya jumpin’ east of Java! I use Café du Monde as they do in many Vietnamese restaurants in my area. I can’t remember where I bought it, but I’m willing to bet you’ll find it locally at A Dong Supermarket in Elmwood’s Shield Street Plaza or Kien Oriental Market on Park Street in Hartford. If not, check with your local Vietnamese restaurant to see where they get their coffee.

Oh, and while we’re going local, I’d like to send a special shout-out to my friend Michele, whose glorious yard-fresh (yeah, talk about free-range!) eggs yolks made this gelato eggs-tra special EGGS-CELLENT!

VIETNAMESE COFFEE GELATO

1¼ cups whole milk + ¼ cup after milk is infused (I’m very fond of Arethusa Farm these days—from Litchfield, CT)
¼ cup heavy cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks (thank you, Michele!)
¼ cup Café du Monde ground coffee
pinch salt

Heat 1¼ cups milk, heavy cream and coffee grounds on medium to  medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, till small bubbles form at edge of pan. Remove from heat. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain through a tea strainer. Yup, a tea strainer. Just be patient and stir the grounds as you go. It works! This yields a very thick coffee concentrate.

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1 ¼ cups is what I measured after it had infused, so I added ¼ whole milk back to the mixture to bring us back to 1 ½ cups of dairy.

Beat together egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk till smooth. Temper egg mixture by slowly adding to hot milk, whisking constantly. Cook over medium-high heat and continue to whisk until mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Do not let it boil!

Strain through fine-mesh sieve into clean bowl, let cool to room temperature. Stir in salt. You can make an ice bath to speed up the process. Chill custard overnight or at least four hours.

Just before turning the chilled custard into your ice cream maker, place the custard and the dasher from your machine into the freezer for up to 20 minutes. It makes the custard nice and thick. Next, it’s time for the spin cycle: process according to your ice cream machine’s directions. Enjoy!

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