Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Jackfruit (Langka) Ice Cream

This weekend I'm teaching a Filipino cooking class and for dessert, I decided to prepare Jackfruit ice cream. Jackfruit (aka langka in Tagalog) is one of the largest fruits in the world and growing up, I always looked forward to having fresh jackfruit from my grandparent's home in the Philippines whenever I visited.

photo courtesy of Wikipedia

One of my fondest memories of my grandfather was when he took out his trusty machete and hacked a freshly picked jackfruit open for my cousins and me to enjoy. It was sweet and refreshing, especially on those hot and humid days during rainy season. The back of my grandparents' home had tall palm trees, coconut trees and jackfruit trees among the vast cotton field they harvested behind the main house. It was a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by such exotic fruits and enjoying them among family. Sadly, those trees are no longer there and since my last visit overseas back in 2004/2005, many things have changed years after my grandparents have passed on.

So I'm reliving the joys of my childhood in the Philippines through this ice cream. Asian markets typically carry jarred jackfruit packed in syrup and is most likely located where other jarred and canned exotic fruits would be. You'll notice the rich, deep yellow color of the jackfruit and it's slighly stringy texture. It's sweet, refreshing and has a muted flavor of pineapple.


In deciding how to go about making jackfruit ice cream, I wanted to start with a good vanilla ice cream as my base. Thanks to Amber, she recently posted her success using David Lebovitz's vanilla ice cream recipe. This was a great start and I ended adapting David's recipe by using Vanilla soy milk since I didn't have any regular milk on hand. I also didn't have any vanilla beans or vanilla paste, but figured the vanilla flavor of the soy milk will help carry the flavor through, along with an extra dose of vanilla extract. Besides, the vanilla flavor only needed to compliment the jackfruit and not compete with it. I chopped a cup of jackfruit and added it to an adapted recipe for David Lebovitz's vanilla ice cream. Delicious, just like I hoped for! I'll be posting final pics on Sunday when I'll be serving it to guests.

Jackfruit (Langka) Ice Cream
adapted recipe inspired by David Lebovitz

1 cup vanilla soy milk (I used Silk brand)
a pinch of salt
3/4 cups sugar
5 egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped jackfruit (jarred in syrup, drained)


Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan.

Stir together the egg yolks in a bowl and gradually add some of the warmed milk, stirring constantly as you pour. Pour the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.

Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula. Strain the custard through a sieve into a bowl filled with the heavy cream.

Add the chopped jackfruit to the heavy cream mixture. Chill thoroughly for at least 1-2 hours.

Remove the heavy cream mixture from the fridge and freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions.