Tim and Corey Sorenson, the ice cream magicians behind Cow Tipping Creamery in Austin, Texas, are known for their innovative sundaes that use local and seasonal homemade toppings. One fun creation features the exotic Buddha’s Hand citrus as an ice cream base. “Its origin [traces] back to the Far East, and it is a very fragrant fruit with a lemon aroma that lacks the bitterness of other citrus and has no juice or pulp,” explains Corey.
He garnishes his Coconut Buddha’s Hand Sundae with latik and toasted coconut milk crumbs, which are commonly used in Filipino desserts. To balance out the natural sweetness of latik, he adds a splash of fish sauce for that salty-sweet component.
Buddha’s Hand can be found at farmers markets around late summer or early fall, but you can alwys substitute with citron or lemon if it’s out of season.
Coconut Buddha’s Hand Sundae with Fish Sauce Latik
Buddha’s Hand Ice Cream Ingredients
½ cup Buddha’s Hand peels (use a potato peeler to create large zest chunks)
2 (14 oz) cans unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup sugar
1 cup half-and-half
Juice of 2 limes
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp heavy cream
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
Fish Sauce Latik
1 (14 oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
1–1½ tsp fish sauce
Candied Buddha’s Hand
1 Buddha’s Hand citrus
3 cups sugar
Before starting, make sure the ice cream bowl attachment has been in the freezer for at least 12 hours prior to freezing the ice cream.
For the Buddha’s Hand Ice Cream: In a medium saucepan, whisk the coconut milk, sugar, half-and-half, lime juice, salt and Buddha’s Hand peels over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and allow to simmer. Remove the mixture from heat, stir in the premixed slurry of cornstarch and heavy cream. Transfer to a glass or ceramic bowl and cover with plastic wrap, then place in the refrigerator to cool overnight.
For the Toasted Coconut: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Toast the sweetened coconut on a rimmed baking sheet for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool before storing in an airtight container.
For the Latik: Bring the coconut milk to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Turn the heat down and gently simmer, whisking periodically, until the milk reduces to a thick cream, about 1 hour. Add the fish sauce and continue heating and stirring until the cream separates into coconut oil and solids. Turn off the heat as soon as the crumbs turn a deep caramel color. Drain the oil and store the remaining latik in an airtight container in the refrigerator. (The latik will keep for 1 month in the refrigerator. Leftovers may be sprinkled over any ice cream or used in a cake batter to add a sweet crunch.)
For the Candied Buddha’s Hand: Cut the fruit in half and place it flat-side down on a cutting board. Slice into ½” wide sticks and dice the sticks into ½” cubes. Place the cubes of fruit in a medium saucepan and add the sugar and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and allow it to bubble slowly for about 1 hour. As the sugar reduces, the syrup will become thicker, and the fruit will become translucent. The cooking is finished once the sugar reaches a temperature of 230–235°F. Once this temperature is reached, turn off the heat and allow the fruit cool and rest for 30 minutes.
Strain this liquid into a bowl and reserve the syrup to pour over the ice cream later. Spread the fruit out on a baking sheet lined with waxed or parchment paper and allow to dry overnight. Once cured, sprinkle with a little additional sugar for sparkle and store in a dark area, sealed in an airtight container.
To Finish the Ice Cream: Take the ice cream base out of the fridge, whisk again, and pour through a strainer to separate out the Buddha’s hand peel. Freeze the base in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. After about 15 minutes of freezing, add ½ cup of the candied fruit and ¼ cup of the latik. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container with plastic wrap placed directly over the ice cream. Freeze for at least 3 hours for solid consistency.
To Assemble Sundaes: Scoop the ice cream into a bowl and pour some of the reserved Buddha’s Hand simple syrup over it. Top with candied fruit, latik and toasted coconut.