Look at the colour of this………. Isn’t is amazing?
A couple of weeks back, I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Aimee Ryan’s book : Coconut Milk Ice Cream, which I won in a giveaway. Aimee blogs over at Wallflower Girl and has some fantastic recipes….. check her out!
I quite fancied the sound of the Rhubarb Almond Crumble flavour, but our rhubarb plant has been a little slow in getting going and it somehow felt ‘wrong’ to buy it from the shops. In the fridge, I still had some delicious cherries that came from my favourite orchard (Terry’s Cherries in Faversham, Kent), so decided to adapt the recipe to use them instead of rhubarb. Aimee’s recipe seemed the perfect starting point to ‘play’ with the ingredients, as I am not yet that confident to go it alone with coconut milk ice cream, although (like most food bloggers) I really struggle with leaving recipes as they are.
This ice cream is based on her Rhubarb Crumble recipe, but is blended with home-made cherry syrup and almond…… Cherry and almond compliment each other beautifully and are one of my favourite combinations.
Alongside the coconut (which is actually quite subtle), the flavour is fresh and vibrant on the tongue and speaks of warm summer nights, chilling in the garden, watching the stars. The ground almonds used in the mix, give the ice cream an unusual nutty, slightly grainy texture, which although a little unexpected, is not unpleasant. The maple syrup used to sweeten, adds natural caramel notes and gives the ice-cream depth and a much more wholesome, less sugary experience.
I am still amazed at how decadent ice cream made with coconut milk can be. Despite the nuttiness, this ice cream is still very creamy and dotted with tiny bites of fresh, sweet cherry. The top is sprinkled with toasted flaked almonds which add a delightful, contrasting crunch.
And the colour? Well……….. It speaks for itself doesn’t it?
For those of you who read my last ice cream post, you will know that I had some issues with scooping straight from the freezer. With this ice cream, I added the alcohol which Aimee suggests will help to keep the ice cream soft. Disaronno is an almond-based liqueur (one of my favourites), so seemed the ideal choice, adding to the luxuriousness of the ice cream. I still had a few issues with scooping, although there was definitely a slight improvement on the defrost time. The wait is well worth it! Perhaps I need to add more booze?………… such hardship!
Cherry-Almond Coconut Milk Ice Cream (inspired by and adapted from Aimee Ryan’s recipe for Rhubarb Almond Crumble Ice Cream)
Extra flaked almonds – toasted for about 5 minutes under the grill
- Place the cherries in a small saucepan with the coconut sugar and lemon juice and bring to a simmer, until soft (about 5 minutes). Leave to cool.
- In a small bowl, mix about 50 ml of the coconut milk with the arrowroot, stir 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.
- As soon as it starts to boil, stir in the arrowroot liquid so that it thickens slightly.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the liqueur.
- Cool the mixture and chill in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours (or preferably overnight)
- Churn the custard in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Transfer to an airtight container and sprinkle the top with toasted flaked almonds.
- Allow to freeze over night to fully harden.
Gluten free AND Vegan (or thinking of heading that way?) – check out my post on Gluten Free Vegan – Surviving Veganuary and Beyond