Isn’t it funny how our bodies tell us which season it is sometimes more than the weather around us? Once June arrives, I find myself craving anything cool and refreshing, from iced coffee to chilled cucumber soup, or a big scoop of ice cream.
I had my first taste of coconut milk ice cream while visiting my girlfriend, who had kindly made it for me as I recently learned I have to avoid dairy. She had made it from scratch, studded with vanilla bean flecks and sweetness. We stood at the counter grinning from ear to ear as we both reached for another scoop straight out of the container. I certainly didn’t feel like I was missing the real dairy version I had grown up with. It was so luscious and creamy!
How could something dairy-free and egg-free be so divine? I wanted to recreate a batch for myself. My friend’s tip was to use full-fat coconut milk and coconut cream, giving it a similar fat content to real dairy versions, which lends itself to the creaminess we all crave.
I raced home and turned my KitchenAid® Stand Mixer into an ice cream maker within seconds thanks to the KitchenAid® Ice Cream Maker Attachment. It’s just another reason I love this machine, inspiring my creativity nearly each day. With ease and simplicity, it was key to making this amazing Salty Honey Coconut Milk Ice Cream.
Through several different test batches, I figured out the tricks to making coconut milk ice cream bliss. Not only was the can of coconut cream important, but I also used a liquid sweetener (honey in this case) and vodka to keep it from becoming icy, plus tapioca starch to help thicken the base. It’s free of ice crystals and scoops out like a dream; no muscles needed to make that sundae you’ve been plotting. This is a clear winner in dairy-free land.
Trust me when I say that even if you can have dairy, this alternative ice cream is a delicious summertime treat that’s totally worth making. With ribbons of honey making it sweet and floral, plus a bit of sea salt in each bite, it’s the perfect combination. Let’s get churning!
Freeze your KitchenAid® Ice Cream Maker Attachment for 20-24 hours. Mix tapioca starch and 2 tablespoons of coconut milk, stirring to dissolve and create a “slurry”.
On the stovetop you’ll bring the coconut milk, coconut cream (I buy this at Trader Joe’s) and 1/3 cup honey to a boil. Then whisk in tapioca slurry. Continue boiling for 1 1/2 minutes, then turn down to a light simmer for 3 minutes, until mixture is slightly thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and vodka. (Remember this helps keeps the ice cream from getting ice crystals, but it certainly is optional.)
Then pour into a large Ziploc bag, seal and submerge into an ice bath. Put into refrigerator and let cool for at least 4 hours, but for best results, chill it overnight.
When you’re ready to make the ice cream, attach the Ice Cream Maker Attachment bowl to the Stand Mixer with the dasher (stirring arm) in place. This will spread, scrape, and mix the batter consistently.
Turn Stand Mixer to the “stir” setting and let churn for 13-14 minutes, until thick and soft-serve consistency. During the final minute of churning, sprinkle in 1/2 tablespoon salt.
When done, pour half of batter into a square metal loaf pan, then drizzle with 2 tablespoons honey and 1/2 tablespoon flaky sea salt. Top with remaining ice cream and drizzle with remaining honey and sea salt.
Enjoy a few scoops straight out of the bowl, then freeze for at least 4 hours and serve!
Dairy-Free Salty Honey Ice Cream
Makes 4 cups
1 tablespoon tapioca starch (or arrowroot starch)
1 14.5-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
1 14.5-ounce can coconut cream
2/3 cup raw honey, divided
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon vodka (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons Maldon sea salt
Large bowl filled with ice
Large Ziploc bag
To begin, mix tapioca starch and 2 tablespoons of coconut milk, stirring to dissolve and create a “slurry”. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, bring remaining coconut milk, coconut cream, and 1/3 cup honey to a boil. Stir in tapioca starch slurry and boil for 1 1/2 minutes. Then turn down heat and simmer for 3 minutes, until mixture has slightly thickened and will coat the back of a spoon.
Remove from heat, then stir in vanilla and vodka. Pour into a large Ziploc bag, seal, and submerge in ice bath. Refrigerate ice bath for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Pour ice cream mixture into your KitchenAid® Ice Cream Maker Attachment bowl with the dasher secured. Attach the Ice Cream Maker Attachment to your KitchenAid® Stand Mixer. Churn on “stir setting” (low) for 13-14 minutes, until ice cream is of soft serve consistency. At this point sprinkle in 1/2 tablespoon salt and churn for 30 more seconds.
Remove bowl from Stand Mixer and spread half of ice cream in the bottom of bread pan or other metal container.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons honey and 1/2 tablespoon salt over the top. Spread remaining ice cream over that layer and drizzle remaining honey and salt over the top. Freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.
*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*