As you may have noticed, I’ve been quite engrossed in making ice creams over the last couple of months. Since summer has abruptly ended, and Autumn (Fall) is now here, this has to stop!
The change in season fills me with a little sadness, but also with a little joy. Sadness because the long, warm summer days will turn into long cold, dark and rainy nights, and the abundance of wonderful summer produce is now all but gone. Joy because the autumn brings the most beautiful colors in the Pacific Northwest, the trees are tinged with reds, auburns and yellows; autumn and winter produce is here, including squash and chestnuts, and it’s the season full of spice, hearty soups and stews.
That aside, I still have a couple of ice cream recipes that I’d like to share with you today. One flavor being vanilla, and the other flavor being grapefruit. Yes, you read it right, grapefruit ice cream. I may in the next couple of weeks, try out two of my last ice creams for this year – pumpkin spice and coffee. Keep your eyes peeled.
If someone told me that I could only choose one flavor of ice cream for the rest of my life, it would have to be vanilla. It’s simple, creamy, fragrant, and not overly complex. It goes well with just about everything: on a spoon, on top of brownies; with apple pie or other tarts, in smoothies, ice cream floats, baked Alaska etc. However, there is one proviso; it has to be the highest quality vanilla ice cream.
This vegan version is fantastic. It’s creamy, vanilla-ry and truly delicious. For the best flavor, use two plump, organic vanilla pods. They really aren’t that expensive, considering the flavor and quality you get. One organic pod from PCC was around $1.35. When you’ve finished with the vanilla pod, wash it, and let it dry on a piece of kitchen towel (paper). You can then blitz it together with cane sugar and sieve into a jar, creating delicious vanilla sugar.
REAL VANILLA ICE CREAM – VEGAN
Makes just under 1 litre (1 quart)
Adapted from “The Vegan Scoop”, by Wheeler del Torro
- 240 ml (1 c) soy milk*, divided
- 16 g (2 tablespoons) arrowroot powder
- 2 plump vanilla pods, seeds scraped and pods saved, or 1 ½ tablespoons vanilla extract
- 480 ml (2 c) soy creamer**
- 300 g (1 ½ c) raw cane (turbinado) sugar
- 1 pinch salt
* If you choose not to have soy in your diet, you can easily use nut/rice or other milk alternatives. MimicCreme is also a great substitute for the creamer.
** In the US, most soy creamers come in 1 US pint (473 ml) cartons, just use this; you do not need to compensate with more soy milk. If you can’t find soy creamer, use 100 % soy milk/other alternative.
1. In a small bowl, mix together 60 ml (¼ c) soy milk and arrowroot, set aside.
2. Pour the remaining soy milk, creamer, vanilla pod seeds, vanilla pods, sugar and salt into a saucepan.
3. Slowly bring the mixture to the boil, and then stir in the soy milk/arrowroot mixture. Continue to gently heat and stir the mixture until thickened.
4. Place mixture in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours, or until well chilled.
5. Once chilled, remove vanilla pods, wash and dry for later use. Churn/freeze the chilled vanilla mixture in an ice cream maker^, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a plastic/glass container with lid and freeze overnight.
6. To enjoy, simply remove the ice cream from the freezer 10 minutes before scooping and enjoying.
^ If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour the chilled mixture into a durable container and freeze for 45 minutes. Remove from the freezer and stir it vigorously with a fork, whisk or hand (stick) blender. Make sure that you beat it up well, breaking up all frozen sections. Return the mixture to the freezer. Repeat this procedure every 30 minutes, stirring vigorously until the mixture is evenly frozen. This procedure will take about 3 hours.