Gluten free, vegan Cherry Coconut Milk Ice Cream with almond made with real cherries. Light, fresh and fruity.
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Originally posted 28th June 2014. Updated 29th July 2022
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Cherry Coconut Milk Ice Cream with almond – made Vegan
Have you ever made Coconut Milk Ice Cream? If not, you’re in for a treat. It’s without a doubt lighter and a little ‘fresher’ than dairy ice cream. And because it’s made Vegan, it’s ideal for anyone who needs to eat either dairy or egg free.
The recipe shared in this post is specifically for Cherry Coconut Milk Ice Cream with almond. Made with REAL cherries, it celebrates one of my favourite fruits. And yes! The colour is ALL natural. Isn’t it amazing?
The origins of my Cherry Almond Coconut Milk Ice Cream
This recipe dates back to 2014. It’s been on the blog a long time and was first created after I was kindly gifted a copy of a book (by Aimee Ryan), titled simply… ‘Coconut Milk Ice Cream’. Although this particular cherry recipe does not come from the book, it is nonetheless very much developed from Aimee’s base ice cream recipe. Thus, it is important to acknowledge its roots.
When it comes to recipe development, inspiration can come from many places. But regardless of whether a recipe is very close to an ‘original’ or is inspired by the work of someone else, I am of the view that origins should be properly acknowledged. All too often, I see recipes from bloggers and others that are without doubt, blatantly copied from elsewhere. And if there’s one thing I cannot abide, it’s benefitting (whether financially or in popularity) from the intellectual ‘property’ of someone else.
So… To be clear. My Cherry Coconut Milk Ice Cream with Almond uses the coconut milk ice cream batter developed by Aimee (who still blogs over at Wallflower Kitchen). But… I’ve developed that base to add the flavours of fresh cherry and almond to the churn.
Cherry and Almond – An epic flavour combination
The pairing of cherry and almond is a classic. And yes… It’s one of my all-time favourite combinations. Think Cherry Bakewell, but far more sophisticated than a glacé cherry dumped on top of frangipane.
In fact, I love cherry and almond together so much, that it has (over the years) made a regular appearance in my recipe development. From Cherry Scones with almond and a celebratory Cherry Bakewell Cocktail (with Prosecco)… To a divine Cherry Frangipane Tart and adding a hint of almond to my homemade Candied Cherries Recipe (Glacé Cherries). We even have a gluten free Cherry-Chocolate Battenberg Cake with cherry-almond marzipan.
If it’s not a flavour combination you have tried, then give it a whirl. Indeed… Why not start with a batch of Coconut Milk Ice Cream?
What ingredients are in this Cherry Coconut Milk Ice Cream recipe?
Because Coconut Milk Ice Cream is a churned Vegan ice cream, the ingredients used are a little different to standard ice creams. Here’s what you’ll need…
- Cherries (obviously) – which can be fresh or frozen. They need to be de-stoned (pitted) before you cook them down. The easiest way to do this is using a Cherry Stoner.
- Sugar in the form of granular coconut sugar (for sweetening the cherries) and Maple Syrup for the main ice cream batter. If you don’t want to use coconut sugar, then it’s fine to sub for standard soft light brown sugar. However, I would advise keeping all the sugars as unrefined as possible for the caramel notes and depth of flavour they bring. And also to ensure the ice cream does not become ‘over-sweet’.
- Lemon Juice – Used in cooking the cherries to support the maintenance of vibrant natural colour.
- Coconut Milk (from a can) – is the main liquid in the ice cream base. I recommend using a brand which has a minimum of 75% coconut extract. This will ensure a richer and creamier texture to the ice cream.
- Arrowroot Powder – used to thicken the coconut milk ice cream batter into a ‘custard’.
- Ground Almonds – This may seem like a strange addition, but almonds give the ice cream a slightly nutty texture… making it a little reminiscent of being mixed with crumble. If you prefer to leave them out however, feel free.
- Flavourings in the form of natural almond extract and vanilla extract.
- A drop of Almond (Amaretto) Liqueur. I use Disaronno. Although this is optional, it does add extra flavour and also helps the ice cream stay softer (as alcohol freezes at a lower temperature).
- Extra toasted Flaked Almonds – for decoration and crunch.
Can I make Cherry Coconut Milk Ice Cream without an ice cream maker?
Although I recommend investing in an ice cream maker (particularly if you are an ardent ice cream lover), Coconut Milk Ice Cream can be made without one. It’s a little more involved and time-consuming, but this is how to do it…
- Once the coconut milk ice cream batter is made and chilled, pour it into a large, freezer-safe container (preferably one that is not too deep)
- Freeze until the batter has started to become mushy (but not hard).
- At this stage, whisk (with a good electric hand mixer) until the ice crystals are broken down.
- Pop back in the freezer until the mix has become mushy again and then re-whisk (to incorporate more air).
- Repeat the freezing and whisking process a further 2 to 3 times, before freezing a final time ready to eat.
Ready to make Cherry Coconut Milk Ice Cream?
The recipe for Cherry Coconut Milk Ice Cream can be found below. Do let me know if you make it. Leave a comment or tag me on social media. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.
If you love ice cream, we also have a great selection of recipes with their own dedicated Ice Cream Index. From churned and no churn to dairy and non-dairy.
And if you are gluten free and Vegan, we also have a special Vegan Gluten Free Recipe Index to make it as easy as possible to find what you need on the blog. Plus, we have our very own guide: Gluten Free Vegan – Surviving Veganuary and Beyond.
For everything else… Head over to our main Gluten Free Recipe Index and plan your next kitchen ventures.
All shared with my love
Other deliciously Vegan desserts you’ll love
Cherry Almond Coconut Milk Ice Cream
- large saucepan
- large air-tight freezer-safe container
- 300 g fresh or frozen dark cherries pitted
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 400 ml coconut milk
- 1½ tbsp arrowroot powder
- 35 g ground almonds
- 1½ tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 120 ml maple syrup = 8 tbsp
- 2 tbsp Amaretto liqueur (eg Disaronno) Optional, but it helps the ice cream stay a little softer.
- extra flaked almonds toasted for about 5 minutes under the grill
Making the ice cream batter
- Place the cherries in a small saucepan with the coconut sugar and lemon juice and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer until soft (about 5 minutes), stirring intermittently. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a small bowl, mix about 50 ml of the coconut milk with the arrowroot powder, stir well until smooth and set aside to thicken.
- Pour the rest of the coconut milk into a blender with the almonds, almond extract, vanilla, maple syrup and cooked cherries.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour the blended mixture into a large saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat.
- As soon as the liquid starts to boil, add the arrowroot paste and stir continuously until the mixture has thickened slightly.
- Remove from the heat and stir through the liqueur.
- Cool the mixture and then chill in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours (or preferably overnight)
Making the ice cream
- Once thoroughly chilled, churn the cherry batter in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Transfer to an airtight container and sprinkle the top with toasted flaked almonds.
- Store in the freezer, removing about 10 minutes before serving to allow to soften slightly.
- After the base mix has chilled, give it a little whisk and pop it in the freezer in a shallow container until it becomes mushy and starts to crystalise.
- At this stage, turn the mix into a chilled bowl and whisk well until the ice crystals are broken down.
- Return to the freezer again and freeze until mushy.
- Repeat the whisking process one or two further times before a final freeze.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist