You see that picture? All those ingredients (plus some eggs I forgot to pose with everything else) are going to turn into a beautiful, creamy ice cream. Do you notice anything missing? That's right, there is no heavy cream or milk in the picture.
I know what you're thinking: "Hector, you can't make ice cream without cream. That's just blasphemous." And trust me, until I came up with this recipe and actually made it, I would have agreed with you. However, this recipe proved me wrong (this seems to happen pretty often). As I still made a custard of sorts, the ice cream was as creamy as any other "real" ice cream I've made. To be honest, as much as I love the recipes I've made from David Lebovitz's book, I think this is the ice cream I am most proud of because I actually developed this recipe myself (after looking at like 20 different recipes online and not finding anything that had the flavor combination I was looking for).
You might also notice that the pictures are all in a different setting that all my previous posts have been (and I haven't quite resolved my lighting situation). I've actually been back in Illinois for almost a month now, but I've just been posting stuff I had leftover from the summer. I still have a few posts from the summer that I need to post, but I wanted to get this one up first because I was so excited about sharing.
The reason I attempted a cream-less ice cream is because it just so happened that I ended up making friends at school that have a ton of different dietary restrictions. At first this bummed me out a little because it meant I wouldn't be able to cook or bake for the people I care most about at school. Then I decided to take it as a challenge and try to make delicious food within their restrictions. In the near future, expect more dairy-free items and baked goods made with completely unrefined flour and sugar.
Now, onto the ice cream. As I said, I don't need to attribute this one to anybody because it is totally my own. I'd love to hear from anyone that decides to try this at home. The recipe made the perfect amount of custard for my 1.5qt ice cream maker.
Orange-Cardamom Coconut Milk Ice Cream
1 can of full fat coconut milk (the higher quality the better) + the cream from the top of 1 other can
3 oranges (zest and juice the oranges)
8 cardamom pods (slightly crushed)
1/2 cup of sugar
4 egg yolks
pinch of salt
You want to start off by prepping all your ingredients. First, crush the cardamom pods slightly. Then, zest and juice your oranges. The orange peel and cardamom are going to steep in the coconut milk, and the juice is going to be added to the custard before churning.
I tried to show you in the picture the two different parts you have in a can of coconut milk: at the top of the can, all the cream will settle and be very thick. Then, near the bottom, you will have a much thinner, milkier substance. You are going to need one full can and the cream from the top of a second can. This means you will end up having just about 3 cups worth of coconut milk/cream.
Place all the coconut milk/cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the salt, orange peel and cardamom and heat until just under boiling. Once it is hot, remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for 30 minutes. This does a great job of infusing both the orange and cardamom into the cream.
Once everything has steeped for at least 30 minutes, you want to strain out all the solids. Then, return to the heat and add the sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is hot, you need to temper the egg yolks and make a custard.
I've shown you elsewhere on this site how to make a custard, but the process is fairly simple. Slowly add some of the hot coconut milk to the egg yolks while whisking. Once the yolks have risen in temperature, return them back to the pot and stir over low-medium heat until it has thickened up enough to coat the back of a spoon. You NEVER want this mixture to actually boil.
While making the custard, you want to put the orange juice in a bowl over another bowl filled with ice. This will ensure that you can cool the custard down quickly and prevent curdling. Once your custard is thick enough, add it to the orange juice and stir continuously until it has cooled down completely. Stick this in the fridge for at least 30 minutes because you want it to be as cold as possible before churning it.
Because I had flavored the ice cream by steeping it, I wanted something that would give me a little bit of texture. I settled on candied orange peel and it worked out incredibly well.
I wish I had taken more pictures of this process, but it is really easy.
- Cut up the orange peel into small pieces (I used 1 orange's worth)
- Bring a cup of water to a boil, drop the orange peel in for a minute, then strain and discard the water
- Repeat the above step 2 more times (this takes away all the bitterness from the peel)
- Then, dissolve 1/2 cup of sugar in 1/2 cup of water and add the peel
- Let the peel cook in this syrup for a few minutes until nice and soft
- Roll all these pieces of peel in sugar until they are nicely coated
This candied orange peel is going to be added in the final minute of churning.
Speaking of which, here is the ice cream being churned. Follow the directions for your ice cream machine. The first frame shows the ice cream right after I added it to the machine. The second frame shows the texture of the ice cream right before I added the orange peel. The third frame kind of shows the orange peel in the ice cream. And, the final frame shows the finished product. I know it's not much to look at (I forgot to get a picture of it once scooped), but it is sooooo good. If you can't have dairy, or are just feeling adventurous, I would recommend this recipe.