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1980s Recipes + Menus

Iced Dice (Coconut Ice Cream Cubes)

April 1981
You can easily substitute store-bought vanilla ice cream for the coconut ice cream.
Make coconut ice cream (see below). Oil lightly a metal loaf pan, 9 by 5 by 3 inches, with flavorless vegetable oil, line it with wax paper, and oil the paper lightly. Spoon in the ice cream, softened slightly, packing it well and rapping the pan on a hard surface several times to expel any bubbles, and smooth the top with a spatula. Freeze the ice cream, covered tightly, for at least 4 hours, or until it is very firm. Run a thin knife around the inside of the pan between the pan and the paper, wipe the outside of the pan with a hot damp cloth, and invert the ice cream onto a chilled work surface.
Working quickly trim the loaf with a knife dipped in hot water to form a rectangular block, 8 by 4 by 2 inches, and cut the block into eight 2-inch cubes. Arrange the cubes 1 inch apart on a jellyroll pan lined with wax paper and freeze them for 1 hour, or until they are very firm. Working with 1 cube at a time, keeping the other cubes in the freezer, decorate the cubes to resemble dice with semisweet chocolate minichips and freeze the dice for 30 minutes, or until they are firm. Arrange the dice on a chilled platter and serve them with cigarette cookies. Serves 4.

Coconut Ice Cream

Grate 1 coconut. Strain the reserved coconut liquid through a fine sieve into a measuring cup and add enough milk to measure 2 cups liquid in all. In a heavy saucepan combine the liquid with 1 1/2 cups heavy cream and scald the mixture over moderate heat. In a blender at high speed or in a food processor fitted with the steel blade blend the mixture with the grated coconut in 2 batches for 1 minute, transferring the mixture as it is blended to a large bowl. Let the mixture stand for 30 minutes and strain it through a fine sieve lined with a double thickness of rinsed and squeezed cheesecloth into a bowl, pressing hard on the solids. Bring the corners of the cheesecloth together, squeeze the remaining liquid into a bowl, and discard the solids.
In a large bowl beat 6 large egg yolks with 1 cup sugar until the mixture is thick and lemon colored. Add the coconut liquid in a stream, stirring, transfer the custard to a heavy saucepan, and cook it over moderately low heat, stirring, until it coats the spoon, but do not let it boil. Transfer the custard to a metal bowl set in a bowl of crushed ice, stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla, and let the custard cool, covered with wax paper. Chill the custard for 2 hours and freeze it in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Makes about 1 quart.

To Grate Coconut

Choose a coconut without any cracks and containing liquid. Pierce the eyes of the coconut with an ice pick or skewer, drain the liquid, and reserve it for another use. Bake the coconut in a preheated hot oven (400º F.) for 15 minutes, break it with a hammer, and remove the flesh from the shell, levering it out carefully with the point of a strong knife. Peel off the brown membrane with a vegetable peeler and cut the coconut meat into small pieces. In a blender or in a food processor fitted with a steel blade grind the pieces, a few at a time. Or grate the meat on the fine side of a grater. One large coconut yields about 4 cups grated coconut.