I love eating ice cream any time of year, but during a particularly hot summer like the one we’re having, it becomes necessary as a food source. And, yes, I could enjoy a meal of just ice cream. I received a review copy of Jude's: A celebration of ice cream in 100 recipes just in time for the hottest part of summer and got to enjoy reading about frozen treats and tasting some of them. I loved learning how this ice cream company began. The current owners are brothers, and their father began the business in 2002 in their barn in Hampshire, England. The business is named after their mother. From the beginning, the focus was on achieving the best flavor by using the best ingredients including milk from a nearby farm. Soon, their ice creams were chosen by chefs for restaurant menus, and they were sold across the UK in supermarkets. There are classic and intriguing flavors, dairy-free options, and frozen desserts, toppings, and cocktails. Some flavors that caught my eye include the Honey Fig and Thyme Ice Cream, Matcha Ice Cream and Black Sesame Brittle, and the Beetroot and Ginger Ice Cream. When I first flipped through the pages, I was sure my first stop in the book would be the Summer Peach Sorbet, but then I read a suggestion about topping scoops with their granola and became fixated on that instead. For more elaborate desserts, there are two roulades. One is the Dark Chocolate and Vanilla Roulade, and the other is the Vanilla Arctic Roll with Apricot Creme Fraiche Ice Cream. You’ll also find tarts, cakes, and brownies to go with ice cream and even Mini Caramel and Guinness Floats. But, I kept thinking about that granola. It’s made with buckwheat kernals, sesame and pumpkin seeds, and coconut. I thought it would be a good, crunchy counterpoint to the Vegan Coconut Ice Cream. Then, I couldn’t resist making the Vegan Banana and Nut Butter Ice Cream too since it’s so easy.
I started by making the granola, and the recipe is similar to my usual granola. This one is made with coconut oil and honey, and in addition to oats there are buckwheat kernals. Sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and unsweetened coconut were also added along with salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. After baking until golden and crunchy and then cooling, dried cherries and raisins were to be added. I left them out to keep the mixture completely crunchy. And, I now intend to always add buckwheat kernals to any granola I make. For the Vegan Coconut Ice Cream, a little coconut milk was mixed with cornstarch to form a paste. Then, coconut milk was heated with coconut cream and maple syrup. The cornstarch paste and salt were added, and the mixture was stirred until thickened. It was then cooled and refrigerated overnight before being churned in an ice cream maker. I added a small splash of rum just before churning to prevent the ice cream from freezing too solidly. The Vegan Banana and Nut Butter Ice Cream was a quick puree of frozen bananas, peanut butter, almond milk, and confectioners’ sugar. The mixture was transferred to a container to freeze, and needs to be left at room temperature for 15 minutes or so to soften a bit before scooping.
I served a scoop of each ice cream in a dish with dried banana chips on the banana ice cream, and granola on the coconut ice cream. Now that I’m writing about them, I’m craving them both again. I have my ice cream machine’s canister in the freezer as I type and am about to leave to gather ingredients. I can’t go much longer with no ice cream in the house.
Vegan Coconut Ice Cream
Recipe reprinted with publisher’s permission from Jude’s Ice Cream and Desserts.
This vegan ice cream is so easy to create at home. It’s unexpectedly creamy, with a fresh coconut flavour that makes your mind instantly wander to tropical islands. We’ve used cornflour for extra smoothness and love serving it with toasted coconut flakes, which give nutty taste and texture, but if that’s not your thing, simply serve it straight up.
MAKES 1 LITRE (1 3/4 PINTS)
1 x 400g (14oz) can coconut milk
1 tablespoon cornflour
300ml (1/2 pint) coconut cream
175g (6oz) agave syrup (or honey, for a non-vegan option)
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
Handful of coconut flakes, toasted, to serve (optional)
Combine 1 tablespoon of the coconut milk with the cornflour to make a paste. Gradually add a further 2 tablespoons of the coconut milk, stirring constantly. Pour the remaining coconut milk into a saucepan over a low heat with the coconut cream and agave syrup. Bring slowly to a simmer, then stir in the cornflour paste and salt. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring constantly until slightly thickened, then remove from the heat. Cover the pan, cool and chill in the refrigerator overnight, or if you don’t have time, for at least 2 hours.
Pour into an ice-cream machine and churn to a soft set following the manufacturer’s instructions, or until the blade stops. Spoon the soft ice cream into an airtight, freezer-proof container and put in the freezer for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight, until firm. Remove from the freezer and allow the ice cream to soften for 5–10 minutes before scooping. Serve with toasted coconut flakes, if using.
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