Lemon Curd-Vanilla Swirl Ice Cream with Coconut Meringue
makes about 3 quarts of ice cream
This elegant ice cream recipe, developed by SAVEUR associate food editor Ben Mims, was the winner at the 2011 Ice Cream Takedown held in Brooklyn, New York. A frozen riff on a pavlova, Ben dubbed it the "Pavlovian Response."
For the Coconut Meringue
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 tsp. distilled white vinegar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1⁄4 cups sugar
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut
For the Lemon Curd-Vanilla Swirl Ice Cream and Serving
- 1 3⁄4 cups sugar
- 18 egg yolks, divided
- 3⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp. lemon zest
- 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes and chilled
- 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped and reserved
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- Diced kiwi and strawberries, to garnish
Make the meringue: Heat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, stir together cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla until smooth; set aside. Combine sugar and egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, and beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add cornstarch mixture and continue mixing on high speed until very stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Stir in coconut and then spread meringue evenly across bottom of a parchment paper-lined 13" x 18" baking sheet. Place in oven and reduce oven temperature to 215°; bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Turn off oven, and let meringue cool completely in oven, about 4-6 hours, or overnight.
Make the lemon curd: Whisk together 3⁄4 cup sugar and 8 egg yolks in a 2-qt. saucepan until smooth; add lemon juice and zest, and mix until smooth. Place pan over medium heat, and cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until thickened to the consistency of loose pudding, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and whisk in butter, letting each cube incorporate before adding the next. Transfer curd to a bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the curd; poke holes through the plastic wrap to allow steam to escape. Let curd cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
Make the ice cream: Whisk together remaining sugar and egg yolks, and vanilla seeds and bean pod in a 4-qt. saucepan until smooth; add milk and whisk until smooth. Place pan over medium heat, and cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour through a fine strainer into a medium bowl; whisk in cream and vanilla extract. Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until chilled. Working in two batches, process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. When ice cream is churned, transfer each batch to a plastic container and add half the lemon curd; fold quickly to create a swirl effect, but do not combine completely. Freeze until firm, about 4 hours.
To serve, break meringue into shards and place in serving bowls. Place scoops of ice cream next to meringue, and then top ice cream with kiwi and strawberries.