I made some simple coconut ice cream the other day and it came out pretty nice… here’s what I used and did:
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup regular coconut milk (not coconut cream)
1 pint half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon vodka (optional)
1 cup sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
I toasted the coconut before I started, but I think I would probably have enjoyed the ice cream just as much with untoasted coconut… anyway, to toast it, line a baking sheet with foil or parchment, spread the coconut out and put it into a 300F oven until it starts to get fragrant. For me that only took about 8 or 9 minutes. Don’t overdo it, I say. Then I set it aside.
I mixed the next 4 ingredients in a blender (after chilling the coconut milk and the blender pitcher). Blended in the sugar and poured the mixture into the ice cream maker. Then I put the cream in the blender and whipped it just a little, increasing its volume by a quarter to a third, and added that to the running ice cream maker.
When the ice cream was almost ready, I slowly added the coconut to the machine. After about a minute it was mixed in and I decanted the batch into a chilled casserole dish and put it in the freezer to harden up. This recipe maxed out my Cuisinart ice cream machine, which has a stated capacity of 1.5 quarts.
Two ingredient notes: First, I used finely shredded unsweetened coconut because that’s what I keep around. I’m sure you could reduce the sugar and make the ice cream with the more readily available sweetened shreds, though you probably can’t toast those, and you might have to stir them in by hand lest they clog the machine. And second, I would have used rum instead of vodka, if I’d had any.