It’s beginning to look a lot like…
Ice Cream Season!
I bought my ice cream maker last year and am ashamed to admit that I have definitely not used it to its full potential. But all of that is about to change, because I’m determined to make dairy-free ice cream a lot more this summer. (With a little help from my friend.)
Last weekend with temps blistering up into the 90’s, I whipped out my ice cream machine and made my first ever batch of frozen custard. And man, is it ever good. Full-fat coconut milk is the secret to really good dairy-free ice cream. It contains more fat than other nut milks that you can buy in the store, so it results in a creamier texture and richer flavor. I’ve been using Native Forest coconut milk lately since I know their cans are BPA-free.
Here are just a few reasons why this ice cream is healthier than your average pint from the store:
- It’s naturally sweetened. Coconut sugar and honey (or maple syrup) provide the sweetness here, eliminating the need for white cane sugar.
- It actually contains whole fruit, not just “fruit syrup concentrate” or some other variation of nature’s perfect treat.
- Contrary to what many people think, the yolks actually house the majority of the egg’s nutrition. Egg yolks, preferably organic and pastured, contain omega-3 fats and choline, a nutrient that’s vital for the flexibility and integrity of the body’s cell membranes.
I’m eager to get working on some vegan ice cream recipes soon, too. But I must say, the frozen custard path is certainly worth the extra step of cooking those egg yolks. You get such amazing creaminess and luxuriously decadent texture.
What is your favorite ice cream flavor? (If you tell me yours, I’ll tell you mine.) Leave a comment and maybe I’ll try to tackle it this summer!
Berry Bliss Ice Cream
2 large organic egg yolks
1/3 cup coconut sugar
2 tablespoons honey or Grade B maple syrup, divided
1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk (full fat)
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
pinch of sea salt
Set a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, but do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Add the egg yolks, coconut sugar, 1 tablespoon of the honey, and 1/4 cup of the coconut milk. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes.
Add the rest of the coconut milk. Continue to stir and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain the custard through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. (Discard anything caught in the strainer.) Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until thoroughly chilled. Can be made up to 1 day in advance.
In a small pot over medium-low heat, combine the strawberries, blueberries, salt, and remaining tablespoon of honey. Cook, stirring often, until the berries have begun to break down and their juices have thickened, about 10 minutes. In a food processor or blender, pulse the berry sauce briefly to yield a coarse puree. Set aside to cool.
Freeze-churn the custard in an ice cream maker for 15-20 minutes. (See note below.) With the machine running, add the cooled berry sauce and continue to freeze-churn for another 5 minutes until fully incorporated.
Serve immediately for soft-serve ice cream, or transfer to a sealable container and freeze for 2-3 hours for firmer ice cream.
Note: My ice cream sometimes stops churning around the 15 minute mark because it has become pretty cold and firm and therefore will not move freely around the baffle. If this happens to you, simply stop the ice cream maker, add the berry puree, give it a few quick stirs, and then turn the ice cream maker back on to continue churning. Works every time.