It’s a great time to be in Malaysia now – lockdowns aside – because a lot of fruit are in season. I’ve been enjoying mangos, rambutan, pulasan, mangosteen, red dragon fruit, langsat…but the one that people get all hyped up about is none other than the king of fruits, durian.
Some premium varieties of durian are pretty pricey, such as Musang King, which can sell for up to RM75 (US$17.78) per kilo. However, if you’re not willing to spend that kind of money, there are many much more affordable durian varieties.
Near our house, there’s a vendor selling durian kampung (literally, “village durian”), which are really cheap. Actually, they’re the most inexpensive durians you can get. We bought a few, for RM10 (US$2.37) a kilo, which turned out to be quite decent, so we returned to buy some more, and this time they were selling starting from just RM6 (US$1.42) a kilo!
Durian is best enjoyed on its own, but if you’re able to get them cheap, why not save some of the flesh for making desserts? When I was growing up, my mother used to make durian ice cream. She’d buy vanilla ice cream and then mix it with durian pulp. It was as simple as that, but so incredibly tasty. I know durian ice cream isn’t going to be everyone’s favourite frozen treat (perhaps you prefer dulce de leche, chocolate peanut butter or pumpkin pie flavours), but if you’re a durian lover and a fan of ice cream, just the thought of the two combined is probably enough to make you drool!
My recipe is based on a no-churn vanilla ice cream, with the addition of durian. The colour of the ice cream will vary, depending on the colour of the durian flesh that you use (more expensive durians are generally more yellow). The durian I used was quite light in colour, so I added some turmeric. It’s totally optional, but if you do want to add more colour, it’s probably better to use yellow food colouring (I just personally prefer natural colours), because if you use too much turmeric, you’ll be able to taste it (not that it’s a bad thing, but you really do want durian to be the star here!). I always like to add a little alcohol when I make no-churn ice cream, because it keeps the ice cream from freezing too hard. Vodka is recommended for its neutral taste, although I used whiskey this time, which didn’t affect the flavour. You can, of course, omit the alcohol.
I find store-bought durian ice cream – even the ones that claim to use “real musang king” – really artificial in taste (and colour too, usually). If you want ice cream loaded with natural durian flavour, you’ve got to give this recipe a try! It beats any commercial durian ice cream hands down!
Did you make this recipe?
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DURIAN ICE CREAM
Yield: 8-10 servings
2 cups (500 ml) whipping cream
1 cup (250 ml) sweetened condensed milk
300-400 grams durian pulp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
2 tablespoons vodka (optional)
A few drops of yellow colouring or no more than 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder (optional)
1. Remove soft durian flesh from seeds and place in a large bowl.
2. Add the condensed milk, as well as vanilla, vodka and colouring/turmeric, if using. Mix well.
3. Using a mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the whipping cream on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.
4. Add the whipped cream into the bowl of durian mixture. Using a spatula, gently fold just until incorporated and the mixture is uniform in colour. Do not overmix.
5. Pour into a 8.5″ x 4.5″ (21.5 x 11.5 cm) loaf pan. Place a sheet of wax paper on top to prevent ice crystals from forming.
6. Freeze for at least 6 hours (or preferably overnight). The ice cream is best consumed within 1 to 2 weeks.