Diana Chan’s In­done­sian ice cream.

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I CAME ACROSS ‘ es putar’ on a re­cent trip to Surabaya in In­done­sia, at a restau­rant called Madame Chang, and ab­so­lutely loved the flavours. When the icy ice cream hit my mouth, my mind raced try­ing to fig­ure out what I was tast­ing. It was served in a glass with white bread shaped like crou­tons at the base, topped with slip­pery sago seeds and co­conut ice cream, then driz­zled with palm sugar. The ice cream was salty, not sweet, and I loved the con­trast with the sweet palm sugar syrup. And the tex­ture wasn’t creamy, but rather more icy and sor­bet-like.

Tra­di­tion­ally, this ice cream is made by plac­ing co­conut milk in a large bowl set in an ice bath, then twist­ing the bowl in cir­cu­lar mo­tions un­til the co­conut milk turns icy along the sides of the bowl. Hence its name: ‘ Es’ mean­ing ice and ‘ putar’ mean­ing ‘spin’ in Ba­hasa In­done­sia.

Now who has the time or pa­tience to spend the day spin­ning a bowl around? Not me! I’ve sim­pli­fied the recipe by whip­ping the co­conut milk and some ic­ing sugar to­gether to thicken and then freeze. The flavour is very sim­i­lar, but the tex­ture is slightly dif­fer­ent. And I found that by adding a lit­tle bit of acid­ity and fresh­ness to the dish, it made it much more balanced. What’s not to love – co­conut, pineap­ple and lime with palm sugar. Re­minds me of a pina co­lada with­out the rum. But hey, feel free to add a dash!

‘ES PUTAR’ ICE CREAM WITH PINEAP­PLE, SAGO AND LIME SERVES 4 Be­gin this recipe at least 4 hours ahead.

400ml co­conut milk 1/ 2 cup (60g) pure ic­ing sugar, sifted 250g palm sugar, grated 50g un­salted but­ter 400g pineap­ple, cut into 5mm-thick slices 1/4 cup (60g) firmly packed brown sugar 1 cup (200g) sago (tapi­oca – from su­per­mar­kets and Asian food shops) 1 tbs caster sugar Finely grated lime zest, to serve

To make the ice cream, whisk co­conut milk, ic­ing sugar and 1/2 tsp salt flakes in a bowl. Trans­fer to an ice cream ma­chine and churn ac­cord­ing to the man­u­fac­turer’s in­struc­tions un­til thick but soft enough to spoon into a con­tainer. Trans­fer to a 4-cup (1L) con­tainer and freeze for 4 hours or un­til firm. Al­ter­na­tively, freeze mix­ture in ice cube trays, then whiz in a blender un­til smooth. Serve im­me­di­ately or freeze for 3-4 hours for a firmer tex­ture.

To make syrup, place palm sugar and 1 cup (250ml) wa­ter in saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, un­til sugar dis­solves. Bring to the boil and cook for 6 min­utes or un­til re­duced by half.

To cook the pineap­ple, melt but­ter in a fry­pan over medium-high heat. Add pineap­ple and cook, stirring oc­ca­sion­ally, for 7- 8 min­utes or un­til be­gin­ning to caramelise. Add brown sugar and cook, stirring oc­ca­sion­ally, for 5 min­utes or un­til caramelised.

To cook the sago, bring a large saucepan of salted wa­ter to the boil. Add sago and caster sugar, and cook for 12 min­utes or un­til sago is just ten­der (there should still be a speck of white in the cen­tre of each grain). Rinse and drain well.

Di­vide sago and pineap­ple among four 350ml serv­ing glasses. Top with a scoop of co­conut ice cream, driz­zle with syrup and scat­ter with lime zest to serve.

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