The logan-lychee debate had been ongoing since I knew what the two fruits were. And perhaps the struggle between which is better will always be on-going for as long as I am sane. So which fruit is better? Both are in the “heaty” category (in TCM, this means that these fruits have characteristics or stimulants that causes emotional or physical reactions associated with temper, fever, passion, excess, or true heat), both are sweet and juicy. But the only difference that these 2 fruits have in my mind lies in the crunchiness of the flesh. This applies whether the fruit is fresh or canned. When I think of Lychee these words come to my mind: sweet, big and limp. Logan gives me a completely different feel: sweet, small, crunchy. Then again, this is my personal opinion. I”m sure someone out there is going to argue that lychee is a nicer fruit than logan. Hey, I respect that. Unfortunately, logan has a special place in my heart that lychee cannot fill. But I digress. The real aim of this post is to talk about my lychee ice cream. As much as I love logan, I don’t believe that logan can make good ice cream. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe one day, I’ll be able to come up with a nice logan flavored ice cream. But today, Lychee has one up logan. I have to give my cousin credit for this ice cream, for I would not in my wildest dream think about making this ice cream if she didn’t put the idea into my head. But everything aside, I think lychee makes GOOD ice cream! The lychee flavor gives a refreshing feel to ice cream. Having made it once and failing badly, I had successfully extracted the very essence from lychee. This is very exciting because it just means that I’ve opened the door to many other “fruit flavors”.
Lychee Ice Cream
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup lychee essence
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
5 egg yolks
1/4 ts vanilla essence
1. Boil 1 can of lychee syrup and lychees until the syrup is thick and greatly reduced.
2. Squeeze out all the juice from the lychees and separate the syrup and the lychee flesh.
3. Set aside and prepare the cream mixture.
1. Warm milk, sugar, lychee (from above), salt and 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Cover and remove the mixture from the heat and let steep at room temperature for 1/2 hour.
2. Pour the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.
3. Rewarm the lychee-infused milk mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
4. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heat-proof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Press on the lychee to extract out as much of the custard mixture as possible. Add the vanilla extract and lychee syrup (to taste) and stir (over an ice bath) until cool.
5. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the fridge (preferably overnight). Freeze the mixture as per the instructions on your ice-cream maker. If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, fret not. Click here to find out how.
6. During the final whisking of the ice cream mixture, take half of the lychee flesh and drop it gradually into the whisking bowl. When transferring the whisked ice cream into the container, ladle some of the lychee into the bottom of the container and in between the various layers of ice cream. Freeze.
Enjoy it on a hot or even cool day =)