It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! I must have said that a hundred times over when my ice-cream maker finally arrived. I have been on tenterhooks while waiting for this fantastic little piece of kitchen gear to arrive. I had already planned several recipes, all without gluten or dairy of course, but I couldn’t decide when it got here what i should make first. In the end I decided to go for a flavour combination I know works – maple and pecan. It was a bit more nerve wracking than most of my recipes, because each step was sort of – unable to be reversed. But although I panicked a few times over a few ingredients, etc, it turned out to be a delicious mix. I have to say, however, that ice-cream makers are not intuitive. I had trouble with this batch because I apparently made the bowl too cold, despite the instructions to freeze it in temperatures of below 18°C. It meant that half of the mixture froze solid to the bowl and could not be removed or persuaded to become softer for neither love nor money. In fact as I was scraping ice-cream out of the bowl the mixing arm got stuck, and the ice-cream started to freeze to the lip of the container even while being poured. So I have learned my lesson there. It does mean, unfortunately, that I couldn’t figure out the yield of this particular recipe. But I will make an estimate of the nutritional information at least, so no worries there.
I have to admit that it was fun to use the ice-cream maker, however. It’s been on my mind for some time that ice-cream is one of those treats that I won’t let get taken away from me simply because I can’t have lactose. I substituted coconut milk into this ice-cream recipe and I thought the taste was excellent, as did my dad. So if, like me, you’re facing this same terrible problem then fear not! If there is a will, there is a way, and not to mention a lot of vegan ice-cream recipes, as well as banana-based ice-cream recipes, that can be turned to. I was inspired by looking at a lot of dairy-free recipes that use coconut milk and coconut cream, and then I thought back to one of my favourite flavour combinations from when I was littler. I thought of maple and pecan because my mother used to make this huge loaf of maple and pecan bread every other week in our bread maker, and that, toasted and hot with butter, was one of my favourite treats. So I thought – why not? Oh, also if you can’t get toasted pecans – as I couldn’t, the method for toasting them is to put them on a tray, sprayed lightly with cooking oil, in an oven for five minutes at about 180°C. It shouldn’t take too long for them to cook and cool, and then you just chop them finely.
Maple and Pecan Ice-Cream (g/f, d/f)
Makes: Almost 1 quart, Prep: 25-30 mins, Cool: up to 2hrs, Chill: up to 2hrs
- 800ml full-fat coconut milk
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup pecans, roasted and finely chopped
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 pinch salt
- In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks and set aside.
- In a saucepan gently heat the maple syrup for five minutes, and then bring up to the boil for another five, all while stirring.
- Drop the temperature and pour in the coconut milk and the salt and stir to combine, ensuring that the mix doesn’t boil. Mix for about another five minutes, bring almost to the boil and then remove.
- Pouring in a gentle, steady stream, pour the coconut-maple mix into the egg yolks. Be sure to whisk this mix the whole time.
- Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and return the saucepan to the heat, stirring gently. Be sure not to let this mix boil as you stir for another five minutes at least, until mix appears to be thickening and lightly coats the back of a metal spoon.
- Remove from the heat, pour into a container with an easy pour lip or function and allow to cool to room temperature, a process which can be sped up using an ice-bath. Cover this mix and place in the fridge to cool completely, which can take up to two hours.
- Pour into an ice-cream maker and make, as per ice-cream maker’s instructions, adding the pecans as it advises.
- If you desire your ice-cream to be hard, then place it in an airtight container in a freezer for up to 2hrs, stirring every half hour.
NOTE: Coconut milk freezes very quickly, so make sure the ice-cream maker bowl isn’t too cold.