Oh hiiiiiiii….I’m guessing you’re here because you and dairy have a complicated relationship? Surely you shouldn’t have to miss out on all the summertime ice cream revelry on account of your digestive system and its hostility towards that sneaky little disaccharide, lactose! Luckily, your friendly neighbourhood coconut is here to whisper sweet nothings to your gut and convince it that there’s nothing dairy can do that can’t be closely imitated by coconut cream. Perhaps you scoff at this notion of ‘closely imitated’, having tolerated too many non-dairy ice creams to endure another, but, let me assure you that this is probably about as close as you’re going to get to the real thing within your own home.
A big part of what I like about this recipe is that it doesn’t taste just like straight-up coconut. By far the dominant flavor is vanilla, and then, just right on the finish, you get a rich little hit of coconut. I have no personal aversion to the taste of coconut but I’m not labouring under the misconception that we need MORE coconut-flavoured things in our lives at this point in food history. For god’s sake, when I had to go dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, soy-free (fun-free!) earlier this year for an elimination diet, I lived off of goddamn coconuts. Those suckers were just waiting for us to all jump on the allergy train so that they could have their time in the sun (well, their other time in the sun…coconuts actually already had very lovely sun-filled lives).
Anyway, getting back to the conversation at hand…
This recipe also makes really good “soft-serve” - just don’t freeze it for the full period of time and beat it a little bit more frequently (I put reminders in the directions). I say ‘soft serve’ in quotations because it’s not going to look like picturesque soft-serve. It definitely looks more aesthetically pleasing in its fully frozen state, but no one is going to care what it looks like if it tastes good in their mouths and feels happy in their bellies.
Vanilla *Coconut* Ice Cream
Slightly adapted from The Minimalist Baker (Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream)
Makes roughly 4 cups of ice cream
1 14-oz can coconut cream (or scrape the cream from ~2 cans’ worth of full-fat coconut milk; this is the thick stuff that accumulates at the top of the can)
1 14-oz can full fat coconut milk
½ cup cane or turbinado sugar
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 vanilla bean, split with seeds scraped and reserved
Pinch of sea salt
The day before making this, place a mixing bowl in the freezer. This will be your churning bowl, so make sure it is big enough to hold all of the ingredients and beat them in (also great if it has a lid since you’ll be covering and uncovering it periodically).
The next day, place all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend for 2 full minutes, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is creamy and smooth. Taste and add more sugar if desired.
Pour mixture into the previously frozen bowl, cover, and return to freezer. Every 60 minutes (or 30 if doing the soft-serve style), remove the ice cream from the freezer and whisk it vigorously for a minute or two. You could also use electric beaters if you like as you are just trying to incorporate air into the ice cream. Beat the ice cream as often as directed for at least 6 hours but preferably 8. Cut back on the amount of time that the ice cream spends in the freezer if you’re looking to make soft-serve.
To serve the ice cream, take out of the freezer at least 20 minutes before serving to allow for it to soften and scoop more easily.