Cempedak Coconut Ice Cream or popsicle was a childhood treat. I have not had it for a long, long time until last summer when I visited my parents in Malaysia. It was so good I told myself I would make some cempedak ice cream when I return to the States. Fortunately, cempedak can be found here at the Asian markets in the summer time. They are usually imported from Vietnam and are known as jackfruit.
There is a distinction between cempedak and jackfruit, to the best of my knowledge. Although cempedak (artocarpus integer) and jackfruit (artocarpus heterophyllus) are of the same genus and look similar, their flesh is quite different. Cempedak has a stronger aroma, reminiscent of durian. It is smaller and sweeter with a soft and mushy texture. Jackfruit, also known as nangka in Malaysia is a larger fruit with a milder aroma. The flesh is fibrous and has a crispy texture.
Both fruits can be eaten fresh or used in cooking. Cempedak is often dipped in batter and deep fried or used in making ice cream, popsicles, and desserts. Nangka is normally eaten fresh or used as a vegetable in salads and curries. Canned jackfruit can be found at the Asian markets.
Cempedak fritters are a popular tea time treat in Malaysia. They are usually sold by street vendors together with Pisang Goreng (Banana Fritters).
Here are some of the different flavors of ais krim potong (popsicles) found at an open air market in Kuala Lumpur. Clockwise from top left – jagung (corn), kopi putih (white coffee), kacang cendol, durian, cempedak, and kacang merah (red bean). They were all very tasty but I enjoyed the cempedak flavored one very much.
Both types of seeds are meaty and edible. They taste a little like chetnuts when boiled in salt water. The cempedak seed is like a flattened sphere while the jackfruit seed is oval and plump.
Since the flesh of the cempedak is highly aromatic, a little goes a long way. One cup of seeded flesh was more than sufficient for this Cempedak Coconut Ice Cream. It turned out to be sweet, creamy, and fragrant with a beautiful soft yellow color. I think it was quite delicious! Do give it a try.
- 1 cup (250g) seeded cempedak
- ½ cup (110g) sugar
- 3 cups (720ml) coconut milk
- ½ tsp salt
- Blend cempedak in a blender.
- Remove and transfer to a medium sized saucepan. Add sugar. Place saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add coconut milk and salt. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and turn off heat.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Place frozen bowl on base of ice cream maker and turn it on. Pour chilled mixture into frozen bowl and churn until desired consistency, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Transfer ice cream to a container and place in freezer for a couple of hours.
- Thaw on counter for 15 minutes before serving.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!