Tuesday, 24 April 2012
Vegan Almond and Cherry Ice Cream
On a recent trip to my local supermarket I was instantly drawn towards a special offer on almond milk. I had never tried almond milk before but as it is a dairy free alternative to the usual ‘white stuff’ and because of its promotional price I bunged it in the trolley with the aim of combining it into something for the blog. Once home however I wasn’t exactly sure what to create but after a quick taste testing session and a trawl through my cupboards for complimentary ingredients (cherry jam being the obvious first choice) I decided I had to try and make almond ice cream. Ice cream is often made using a custard base so I went for a complete cheat on this one and used Bird’s custard powder. But after examining the ingredients list I discovered that Bird’s traditional custard powder is vegan friendly so the resulting ice-cream is vegan friendly too!
1 litre almond milk
60g Bird’s traditional custard powder (not the instant stuff)
50g caster sugar
½ vanilla pod
100g good quality cherry jam
Put the almond milk and sugar into a large saucepan and add the seeds scraped from the vanilla pod (I also add the pod for extra flavour). Place the saucepan over a gently heat and very slowly bring to the boil allowing the vanilla flavours to infuse into the milk.
Whilst the milk is heating up but the custard powder into a large bowl and add a tablespoon of water. Mix until a smooth paste is formed (adding a drop more water if needed).
Once the milk begins to boil remove from the heat, fish out the vanilla pod and pour into the bowl containing the custard powder paste ensuring that you continually stir the mixture as you add the milk as the mixture should instantly being to thicken. Keep stirring the mixture until thickened and smooth.
Allow the mixture to cool and then transfer to an ice cream maker if you are lucky enough to have one (I still haven’t got around to that purchase!)…
…or alternatively put the mixture into a freezer proof container and stick into the freezer. After a couple of hours transfer the mixture into a food processor and blitz until you have a smooth, creamy consistency. Transfer the mixture back to your freezable container and stick the mixture back into the freezer. Leave for another couple of hours and then remove and blitz in the food processor again. Repeat this process again after another couple of hours, blitzing the mixture for a third time, this should break up the ice crystals in the mixture enough to prevent the ice cream turning into one large ice cube, producing an easily scoopable result.
After the final blitz in the liquidizer (or at the end of the ice-cream machine churning period) take the cherry jam and swirl into the mixture. Then stick the mixture back into the freezer and after a couple of hours it will be ready for you to enjoy.