I think ice cream has a way of bringing people together and I don’t believe anyone can think about it without smiling and for that reason, I love it! I have so many wonderful memories that include this sweet treat so it will always be on the top of my list of comfort foods. When Wiley and I were in college, as soon as we got out of class we would pack a bag, his surf board and head to the beach. After an afternoon in the sun our favorite thing to do was head to Kohl’s Frozen Custard. We got a cone with two scoops and walked around the sandy streets and watched the sun go down. Right now, as I think about it, it seems like a dream because those days were so wonderful.
And that’s just what ice cream does, right? Just one lick can bring back the prettiest memories. I could go on and on about stories that involve ice cream but for now, I think we should talk about this Blackberry Lavender recipe. When I first started making coconut milk-based ice cream (last year, I think) I discovered that the type of coconut milk that you use makes all the difference. Sadly, the Trader Joe’s version is no good. It leaves a grainy texture that just isn’t the most desirable. However, the house brand at Whole Foods is wonderful! It’s thick and creamy, just like you want ice cream to be. I’ve also used the brand Native Forest Organic Coconut Milk and it works great too.
When I first made this recipe, I scooped up a bit in a spoon when it was still in soft-serve form, tasted it and said to Wiley, “I think this is the best one I’ve ever made”. The combination of tart blackberries, creamy coconut, zesty lemon and calm lavender is just magical. It’s super easy but certainly has a wow-factor.
The blackberries are from a family friend’s garden back home in NC, which I LOVE. When our friend’s were in transit to the other side of the country a couple weeks ago, they stopped in Nashville and spent the night with us and brought the best gift of garden-fresh produce. These blackberries are so good, y’all.
This recipe is featured on Reese Witherspoon’s blog in celebration of National Ice Cream Day.The outfit that I’m wearing can be found on the Draper James website, just in time for those hot summer days. A good summer wardrobe is not complete without a few pieces of gingham. I love the shade of blue in the gingham skirt and pairing it with a lightweight t-shirt just makes sense on warm days. It’s easy, breezy!
Enjoy and happy summer!
Blackberry Lavender Ice Cream
- 2 cans full fat coconut milk
- ½ cup raw sugar or maple syrup
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch (or 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 heaping cup frozen blackberries
- ½ cup water
- fresh lavender
- If you are using an automatic ice cream machine, prior to preparation, make sure that the machine’s ice cream bowl has been freezing for at least 24 hours. It should be completely frozen solid. Also, shake the coconut milk cans very well, the contents will need to be incorporated.
- Pour blackberries, water and lemon juice into a small sauce pan and set on high temperature. After about 5 minutes the berries will begin to break down and create a sauce. Continue to cook on high for another 15 minutes or until the mixture has created a jam-like consistency. Remove from heat. Once the blackberries have cooled, pour into a blender and blend until smooth. You may need to add another ¼ cup of water, depending on how thick the mixture is.
- Using a sieve (or mesh strainer) separate the seeds from the blended mixture. You can discard the seeds and the blackberry mixture should now be smooth.
- Heat 1 ½ cans of coconut milk in a large pot over low heat.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine remaining ½ can of coconut milk with starch. Stir and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- Stir starched mixture into warmed coconut milk mixture. Add in sugar and salt and stir. Allow to cook until mixture has become thick, almost pudding-like. I have found that this takes about 20-30 minutes. You will know that it is the right consistency when the mixture stays on the mixing spoon for a few seconds without dripping off.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour mixture into a glass bowl and add the blackberry mixture. Stir until well combined. Cover, and allow to cool in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight.
- Once mixture is cool, use with ice cream maker as per manufactures instructions. I’ve noticed that if it churns too much it gets icy so be sure to keep an eye on it. While its churning, add in a sprinkle of fresh lavender, I use a little over 1 tbsp.
- Now, remove the ice cream from the machine and pour into scooping pan (I use a loaf pan).
- Using a spoon, swirl blueberry mixture into ice cream. You may not use all of it but put as much as you desire.
- Cover the pan and freeze for another 2-3 hours. If you have the time to stir it every hour, it will help it to remain super creamy.
- Remove from freezer, allow to thaw for a couple of minutes, and enjoy!
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