Continuing with my coconut milk successes, I decided to try my hand again at making a dairy free ice cream. It has been a while since I had a milk substitute I could use, so I was really excited to get back into the ice cream making. I found a recipe at Whole Foods for coconut ice cream and decided to give it a go.
This recipe uses eggs and for a custard-like ice cream, I thought it was very simple to make. The eggs and sugar get whipped by hand, the coconut milk gets poured in, all of that gets heated and vanilla goes in. Not too tricky. I had vanilla beans on hand so I decided to add some vanilla bean to the recipe for both the flavor and the little vanilla bean specks. You could definitely just use real vanilla extract if you don’t have access to vanilla beans. I also used a bit more sugar than the original recipe. I tasted the original ice cream batter and decided I wanted something a little sweeter.
The ice cream that resulted was just as good as the coconut ice creams from the store. Really I thought it was even better since the eggs make for a smooth ice cream and no weird textures. The vanilla extract and bean create great flavor so you don’t taste just coconut. That was important to me since I get tired of plain old coconut flavor in everything. I actually put this ice cream out at a party I had, warning everyone that it was my dairy free ice cream, and I got really positive reviews. Several people asked for seconds!
I can’t wait to make it again and to try adding fruit to create new flavors.
Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 (13.5 oz) can regular coconut milk
1 (13.5 oz) can light coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 2 teaspoons if omitting the vanilla bean)
1 vanilla bean
In a large mixing bowl, use a whisk to whip the egg yolks and sugar quickly for 2 minutes. The yolks should turn a pale yellow color. Pour in both the regular and light coconut milks. Whisk again to combine thoroughly. Pour the mixture into a medium pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the thickened mixture coats the back of a spoon or the temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Slit the vanilla bean down the middle with a sharp knife. Scrape out all the vanilla seeds from both sides of the bean and add them to the ice cream mix. Whisk lightly to break up any vanilla seed clumps. Let the ice cream mix cool slightly and then chill thoroughly in the refrigerator before processing in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. (Mine takes about 25 minutes in our Cuisinart ice cream maker.)