So, the good news is that I've found a great coconut milk-based ice cream recipe that's easy to make, experiment with, and render low-fat. The other good news is that you will want to sit down and eat it all at once, which could make this bad news for some of you.
It all started when I was forwarded this link to the best vegan ice cream recipes out there. I don't normally keep ice cream in the freezer, since I'm lactose intolerant, so this vegan ice cream thing is tempting me into a life of constant freezer goodness.
I first made the Caramel-Cinnamon Ice Cream with Black Gingerbread Chunks in a version that involved homemade spiced marshmallows, fleur de sel caramel sauce, Vietnamese cinnamon, dark chocolate chunks, and toasted pecans. I meant it to be a spicy caramely version of Rocky Road, but I'm really at a loss for what to call it. Whatever it was, it was tasty, and the homemade marshmallows really turned into wonderful chewiness in the frozen dessert.
I successfully substituted so many ingredients from the original recipe that I knew I could mess with it even more. This time I wouldn't make the mistake of adding more than a cup of mix-ins, since that made for super chunky ice cream, but I would replace the caramel sauce with blackberry jam and lemon curd, the cinnamon with a touch of ginger, add a bit of agave to sweeten it, and swirl in a ribbon of berry syrup.
The ice cream itself ended up incredibly creamy; next time I would probably leave out the berry syrup and just add it as a topping, since the water content of the uncooked berries froze very hard - or I would make the syrup break the berries down more before swirling it in to the ice cream. The lemon curd really made this flavor, so don't back away if berries and lemon sound strange to you.
Here's my take on this super easy, fabulously adaptable recipe:
Blackberry Lemon Coconut Ice Cream
1 C light coconut milk
2 C lactose-free, vanilla soy, or coconut creamer
1/4 C no sugar added seedless blackberry jam (strain to remove seeds)
1/4 C lemon curd (I love TJ's)
3 T agave syrup
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 T corn starch
2 tsp vanilla extract
Combine the coconut milk and creamer in a medium sauce pan, along with the jam, lemon curd, agave, ginger, salt, and corn starch. Whisk vigorously to combine and beat out any lumps. Turn on the heat to medium, and whisk occasionally until it just comes up to a boil and has thickened significantly. Cool completely and add the vanilla. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator. Before churning the ice cream, prepare any add-ins (berry syrup, chocolate chunks, etc.). Once the ice cream base is chilled, churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions (mine took 20 minutes total), adding any add-in in the last 5 minutes of churning. Transfer to an air-tight container, and freeze solidly for at least 4 hours before serving.
1/3 C water
3 T agave syrup
1/4 tsp lemon zest
12 oz. blackberries
Combine ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and simmer for 8 minutes. Watch to make sure it doesn't boil over, stirring from time to time. After the 8 minutes, remove from heat. Optional: add up to 2 tsp liquor (brandy, framboise, etc.) and another 12 oz. of berries to add texture to the syrup. Let cool before mixing into the ice cream, or serve warm/room temperature as a topping on the finished ice cream.
How to adapt this recipe:
- Replace the liquid sweeteners (jam, lemon curd, agave) with up to a total of 1 C of another liquid sweetener (the caramel Rocky Road version had 1 C of fleur de sel caramel sauce from Trader Joe's).
- Replace the ground spice (ginger) with up to 1 tsp of another ground spice (the original had 1 tsp of cinnamon). Take care to not overwhelm the flavor you're trying to achieve - start with 1/4 tsp, taste, add more if you prefer.
- Add up to 1 C of chunky/chewy add-ins: marshmallows, chocolate chunks, nuts, berries, cookies, cake crumbs, etc. Adding more than 1 C will mean you are chewing your ice cream rather than licking it.