Better Than Dairy, Dairy Free Ice-cream

photo 5My daughter loves ice cream. Summer is coming, she will want ice cream. Obviously I love a challenge.

So we have made dairy free ice creams before, but we had never found a substitute for the real thing. I’m talking about creamy, scoopable ice cream that you can push into a cone and enjoy under a tree. Most DF ice creams are somewhat icy and freeze rock hard if left over night.  And yes, the cone… we live in a small town. If they do make a gluten-free ice cream cone out there somewhere, it isn’t at our local grocer. So with these two challenges in mind I came up with the following adaptations of some pretty decent recipes.

Vanilla Ice-cream Base
(Can carry chocolate chips, almonds, blueberries, strawberries, etc. This ice cream needs to be prepared the day before you are planning to enjoy it but it will taste better and richer than any full dairy ice cream out there, and you won’t mind that it has no eggs, milk fat or white sugar 😉 ).

  • 1 1/2 cups of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup honey (agave nectar if you’re vegan)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For THIS batch, we used the following but you can substitute frozen berries of your choice:
1/2 cup almond slivers, with half coarsely chopped in a coffee grinder or blender
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (no dairy), with half coarsely chopped in a coffee grinder or blender

Shake the cans of coconut milk thoroughly before opening and set 1/2 cup aside for later. Mix the remaining coconut milk, honey and salt in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat until the honey thins and is easily mixed into the coconut milk, about 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk remaining 1/2 cup coconut milk with the cornstarch until well blended. Stir into the warm coconut milk base and cook until over medium heat until the mixture begins to thicken — enough so that it coats the back of a spoon, 6 to 8 minutes. Do not boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract.

photo 2Pour the ice cream base into a bowl. Set it to cool on the counter for 30 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and leave in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 hours — This needs to be very cold before you process it in the ice cream machine. I use the Kitchenaid Ice cream bowl attachment. Make sure your ice cream bowl has been in the freezer at least 24 hours! If you forgot this step, do it now and leave the base in the fridge. The extra cooling time will only help it along.

Churn the mixture in your ice cream machine following the manufacturer’s instructions and add your toppings and flavors at the very end. After 20 minutes it may have thickened to an soft-serve ice cream consistency. Mine was more of a thick, cold soup, but this is fine. Spread into a large loaf pan (or pie pan) and cover with saran wrap, then place in the freezer for over night. The extra 12 hours or so in the freezer will bring it to the perfect consistency, and the honey will not allow the ice cream to freeze rock solid. I made it for her but I could have eaten an entire bowl of it myself. It’s a good thing I have self control – just kidding, I totally ate a bowl. A big bowl and it was amazing.

For the Gluten and Dairy Free Ice-cream cone recipe, click here!




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