We are obsessed with Frozen Young Coconut Juice (the ones that come in their own plastic cup with a little straw and tiny plastic fork sticky taped to the outside). We’ve discovered that we can buy them in packs of four from Vietnamese grocers in Victoria Street and we’ve been drinking them in the afternoons when we’re home hot and puffed on our bicycles. So refreshing, and there’s even slippery coconut flesh to nibble on. I wouldn’t have thought this treat could be improved on, but Sarah and I made young coconut juice sorbet to celebrate the last days of summer and it’s a tropical delight. It has a subtle nutty, salty, sweetness – without actually being nutty or salty. We served the sorbet with mango and dragon fruit.
On the day we made this sorbet our borrowed ice cream machine chose the perfect moment to break. So, we made the sorbet the slow way: keeping the mixture in a bowl in the freezer and stirring the mixture every hour or so, making sure to scrape the icy bits from the side of the bowl. This method is not perfect – the sorbet turned out slightly icy. Our chef friend Sean said that if you’ve no ice cream maker (and I’m sure most of you won’t have an ice cream maker as they are a strange and bulky appliance) a good trick is to simply freeze the mixture, then once frozen, cut into chunks and whiz it in a food processor, then freeze again.
The recipe also says to use fresh young coconuts, piercing two holes in them with a screwdriver and a hammer to extract the juice – but this sounds like a recipe for disaster to me – I just imagine stabbing myself in the fleshy part of my palm, so I’m too terrified to try this method. Using fresh coconuts would also mean I wouldn’t have an excuse to buy the four pack of young coconut juice. Which would mean we’d be without a refreshing afternoon beverage, which frankly would be a travesty.
Young Coconut Sorbet
From Australian Gourmet Traveller – Best Chefs’ Recipes 2008 (Longrain)
125g caster sugar
150ml liquid glucose
500ml (2 cups) coconut cream
300ml young coconut juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp sea salt
Combine sugar and 250ml water in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves, then add glucose and stir to dissolve, cool. Combine with remaining ingredients. Freeze in an ice-cream machine according to machine’s instructions (or as discussed above). Makes about 1 litre.