I make simple desserts. I like to eat complicated desserts when someone else (like my gourmet sister-in-law) makes them. (Gluten-free tiramisu for my birthday last year. Yeah, she’s amazing like that.) But I try to keep it simple at home. Despite all the unhealthy additives in the store-bought kind, ice cream was once a simple dessert to make.
As mentioned in my Summer Fun list, we got a new-to-us ice cream maker off of Freecycle and are determined to use it regularly this summer! So far, we’ve made chocolate with mini chocolate chips, lemon (with fresh zest and juice), and then back to chocolate again, because you can’t go wrong with chocolate. And my son has requested pineapple with mint from our yard for our next experiment. Creative, no? We watch a lot of cooking shows…
First, I use full fat coconut milk instead of cream because I was spoiled by the Amish and their reasonably priced raw cream when I lived on the east coast. It was actually cream-colored (unlike the store-bought) and spoonably thick. I would get a quart at a time and make whipped cream with real maple syrup. It was incredible. I’m actually getting sad…
You can get raw cream in California, but it costs a million dollars (because milk production is more difficult in drier areas than in the lush Pennsylvania countryside) and I don’t have a million dollars. And most cream is ultra-pasteurized which is not good. My previously mentioned gourmet sister-in-law has told me about a couple of brands that are only pasteurized, but I’m still working through my cream issues (Cream Snob?) and am happy with the coconut milk for now.
Next, I was determined to find an ice cream recipe base that I didn’t have to heat. Remember, I want simple. No heat, means one less thing to clean and I need less things to clean. The Minimalist Baker has a dairy-free green tea version, then there’s this fun coffee flavor, can’t wait to try Laura’s pistachio ice cream, and I finally found my inspiration from the Nourishing Gourmet’s chocolate coconut milk ice cream.
Then, of course, I began the unique art of never following the recipe exactly. I used raw cacao powder instead of cocoa powder, substituted a combination of maple syrup and liquid stevia for the agave syrup. And then Holistic Squid saved me some major research by figuring out how to keep it from refreezing into a rock – add salt and alcohol (or more vanilla extract that’s in an alcohol base).
So the final gathering of ingredients looks something like this:
SIMPLE ICE CREAM (Base)
2 cans of full fat coconut milk (preferably BPA-free brands)
2/3 – 3/4 cup flavoring (cacao/cocoa powder, lemon juice/zest, peaches, etc.)
1/3 cup real maple syrup (or honey would work too)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract (in alcohol base)
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
Blend all the ingredients in your Vita-Mix (put it on your wish list!), food processor (a must-have in the kitchen) or stick blender (got mine off of Freecycle!) Taste and adjust accordingly. (I use stevia to sweeten.) Dump into your ice cream maker and follow its instructions.
If you have any ice cream left, shame on you. But you could redeem yourself and make some gluten-free ice cream sandwiches. (Not a simple recipe by any stretch, but perhaps my sister-in-law is reading…)
And what if you don’t have an ice cream maker?
First, keep checking Freecycle or Craigslist. I’ve heard you can put it in a flat dish with a lid, but ice cream makers are more fun.
Whatever you make, enjoy your summer and some cool sweet treats!
What’s your favorite recipe for a frozen summer treat?
Featured at: Make Your Own! Mondays