These beautiful sunny days and a little extra time spent outdoors leave me craving something refreshing and a little sweet, too! This is our take on che - a classic and very diverse Vietnamese dessert. It's served often at our family gatherings, and at restaurants you'll likely order it as a drink.
This is a flexible recipe that can be switched up according to your taste or what ingredients you have access to. I often buy the canned version of these fruits (at the Asian market they come in a sweet syrup), but if you can get fresh tropical fruit (coconut meat, lychees, and jackfruit, for instance), all the better!
1/2 Gallon whole milk (you can substitute with soy milk)
1 pint heavy cream, or 1 large can of sweetened coconut milk
1 20 ounce can each of:
1. Drain the syrup from the cans of fruit, reserving 1/4-1/2 of the syrup from the coconut gel.
2. Add the fruit to a large bowl, cutting up larger pieces into bite-sized chunks. I usually just use a pair of scissors, cutting each fruit in half or in strips over the bowl (except the coconut gel, which comes already cut into small cubes).
3. Add the milk and heavy cream, and stir. Feel free to add more milk (or less cream) if the consistency is too rich or thick for your liking.
4. Taste, and add up to 1/2 can of the reserved coconut gel syrup for extra sweetness, if desired.
5. Place a couple ice cubes in a drinking glass or bowl, pour a serving of the che over the ice, and eat with a spoon!
Best enjoyed outside or while browsing a hatchery catalog.