Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Durian Ice Cream

My mom has always loved durian.  With a few good Asian supermarkets around us, she's able to taste her favorite fruit from time to time.  She would probably describe it as unique, rich, tropical, pleasant, and sweet. This large and spiky "King of Fruits" however, is notoriously stinky.  Its taste and smell have been described by my family (and confirmed by the population at large) as similar to: gasoline, excrement, and rotting pineapple, with a texture like baby vomit.  This is why in some of my earliest memories, she is eating durian in the garage, on a stool, next to the car, by herself.  She was not allowed to enjoy her favorite fruit inside the house.

This year, I figured there would be no better homemade gift than to make her several pints of ice cream, starring her beloved durian.  No one in my family made me go outside like we used to make my mom, but I do warn against making this recipe while it's 30-something degrees out.  When I cut into the grand, sharp thing, it let out a "ppffftttt" and began releasing its intense odor.  Suddenly, I had a family of drama queens running around, opening every door and window, forcing me to make my ice cream while shivering in my winter coat. But as my younger daughter said, "You made our whole house stink! You really love Popo (grandmother) don't you".

The recipe below was adapted from this recipe, and uses the flesh from a whole, large durian. It is less sweet just like my mom would prefer, so add more sugar if you like a more conventional sweetness.  Just taste the custard before allowing to cool and add more sugar if you like.  Makes about 2.5 quarts or about 5 1-pint containers.  *Most ice cream freezers only spin about 1.5 quarts.  This recipe makes 2 batches.

Durian Ice Cream

1 whole durian
6 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups light cream
3 cups whole milk

Cut open durian and remove segments of flesh.  Remove seeds.  Puree in a food processor.  Press the puree through a sieve to strain out the stringy fibers.  You will have about 2 cups of smooth durian paste.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator.

In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks with vanilla and sugar.

Bring milk and cream to near boil over medium heat.

Reduce heat to low.

Ladle about a cup of hot milk mixture and whisk into eggs.  Pour egg mixture into milk mixture on the stove.  Stir constantly until thickened, a few minutes.  Do not let the mixture come to a boil.

Allow custard to cool, then chill in refrigerator or in a large Ziploc bag set in an ice bath.

When very cold, pour half the custard into ice cream machine.  Add half the durian paste and spin until frozen. Remove to freezer-safe container to ripen in freezer.  When ice cream freezer bowl is completely frozen and ready to use again (usually in 24 hours), spin second batch of custard and durian mixture.


  1. You are really a kind daughter! To tell you the truth....I love durians! ;)

  2. That fruit is just weird! Like the ugly duckling of the fruit world. And yet it's a swan on the inside. I bet your mom is so happy.


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