I have made it my mission this summer to perfect vegan ice cream. Guess what?! I’m getting close, real close! I have only used coconut milk; I feel that since it is one of the only milks that has full fat it works best. My mom doesn’t really care for the taste of coconut so I would love to come up with a way to make it with an alternative milk, but I haven’t figured that out yet.
I have made a few very important conclusions so far. The first is, the brand of coconut milk matters, much to my surprise. I have used three different kinds and unfortunately, the most expensive brand from Whole Foods seems to work the best. Each brand that I have used have been organic, the first was Kroger’s Simple Truth, the second was a store brand from our local health food store, and the one that worked best was one that I found in the international isle at Whole Foods. This label reads: Unsweetened Organic Coconut Milk by Native Forest (it’s a green label). This coconut milk provided the most creamy, luscious consistency. I thought the creaminess was due to a couple of other circumstances but it was, in fact, the milk itself. The other brands were creamy but still contained a bit of icy texture.
My second conclusion is that you must refrigerate the base mixture overnight. The starch and milk set better when left longer. The first time I made ice cream, I was so excited that I only chilled it for a few hours and it just wasn’t as tasty.
The last conclusion is that if you don’t eat the ice cream as soft serve and place it back in the freezer so that you can scoop it, it is best after about 2 hours in the freezer. Once it stays in the freezer any longer, like all ice cream, it becomes completely frozen through. This just means that you have to allow it to thaw for about 20 minutes in order to scoop it.
So this is what I think so far but we still have the rest of the summer to figure out any other kinks in the ice cream making world. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
Blueberry Ripple 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 tbsp sea salt
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 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 blueberries, maple syrup, 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.
- 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. Add sea salt.
- Stir starched mixture into coconut milk mixture. Add in sugar 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, 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.
- 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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