Vegan (No-Churn) Strawberry & Rhubarb Ice Cream

It's thirty-something degrees Celsius outside and I am slowly melting away at my desk. When not-moving to avoid breaking into a sweat has become somewhat of a sport you know it's time for...?? Yes!! Ice cream! 

If you're anything like me, you are probably already thinking of all the ice cream flavours you would like to try out: peanut-butter-chocolate, sweetpea-mint, vanilla-and-cookiedough, avocado-lime, lemon-poppyseed, almond-fig,..and the list goes on believe me. At first I was a little discouraged cause I didn't have an ice cream machine. But after browsing my favorite blogs and recipe websites for a while I found a lot of alternative methods for making no-churn ice cream. So far I have tried this dairy version and this vegan version of chocolate ice cream. Both have worked incredibly well, although I was even more impressed with the result from the dairy one: the addition of condensed milk resulted into a super soft, creamy texture which I had only known from churned ice cream. As I am trying to use a lot of products that are not industrially processed and I prefer using plant-based ingredients, it got me thinking. It's a shame you can't buy any vegan condensed milk. However, my header wouldn't read 'made from scratch' if I wouldn't take on that challenge. So in fact this post is really about two recipes and not one. I started out by making my own coconut condensed milk and then continued the next day to making my own no-churn ice cream. 

Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk

For the condensed coconut milk, I was inspired by this recipe. Instead of honey I used agave syrup, and converted the amounts into ml and grams - yeah, yeah, I'm European after all.. .;-)

Ingredients

  • 1 (400 ml) can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 90 g agave syrup (or sweetener of your choice)

Instructions

1. Bring the coconut milk to the boil. 

2. Add the agave syrup and stir until it is well combined.

3. Let simmer for about 30  - 40 minutes, or until the coconut milk has reduced by half. 

4. Pour into clean jars while it's still hot. Let it cool down. This should keep in the fridge for at least a week. 

Okay, so this is step one. Obviously you can do this way ahead, so you don't have to do everything on the same day. 

If you wanna stop here, there is also plenty of other great ways to use coconut condensed milk. When we visited Fuerteventura this year, I loved having leche y leche which is basically an espresso with condensed milk and some regular milk. So I tried the coconut version and it really sweetened up my (iced) coffee break. 

But now to the centerpiece of this post - ice cream! 

Vegan Strawberry & Rhubarb Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 350 g strawberries
  • 200 g rhubarb (I used frozen, but if you can get a hold of fresh one, that's even better)
  • 2 cans of coconut cream (not milk), chilled in the fridge for at least 4 hours
  • 150 ml coconut condensed milk
  • seeds from 1 vanilla pod, or vanilla essence 

Instructions

In preparation 

  • The night before, put two cans of coconut cream in the fridge. 
  • 15 minutes before starting, put a mixing bowl in the freezer. 
  • Have your coconut condensed milk ready. 

For the Rhubarb Compote

1. Place the rhubarb in a saucepan with a splash of water and bring to the boil. Simmer until the rhubarb has become soft and you get a compote-like consistency. As a little trick I like to add a couple of strawberries or raspberries to my rhubarb compote to make it a little redder. But that's just something for the eye ;-)

2. Let cool completely. 

For the Strawberry Coulis

3. Place the strawberries in a blender/food processor and purée until you have a nice sauce. 

For the Ice-Cream

4. Take the mixing bowl out of the freezer.

5. Take the cans of coconut cream, turn them upside down and open them. You will now have the liquid part at the top. We don't need it, so drain it and save it for later (I use it for making smoothies and porridge). Scoop out the solid coconut cream into your mixing bowl.

6. Using the whisk attachment of your mixer, whip the coconut cream until it forms fluffy peaks. Add the vanilla seeds. 

7. Stir in the coconut condensed milk and gently fold it into your mixture. You don't want to over-beat it, just mix until it's roughly incorporated. 

8. Roughly fold in the rhubarb compote and strawberry coulis.

9. Spread the mixture in a cake tin or other container, and if you have some leftover strawberry coulis you can spread it on top, or make a little swirl, or be creative in any other way :-) 

10. Cover with cling foil and chuck it in the freezer for at least 4 hours. It's best when it hasn't frozen rock solid cause then you get a nice creamy texture. The longer you keep it in the freezer the longer you will have to let it rest outside to defrost before scooping. 

11. For those of you who have an ice cream machine, this will be even easier. Just pour the mixture in your machine and follow the instructions from your manual. 

Coincidentally I was given an ice cream maker just yesterday by some dear friends of mine. By then I had already finished making this recipe, but next time I will definitely try making this with a machine. I imagine it'll be even creamier as the machine helps to cool it down slowly, so it doesn't end up a block of ice. Plus I still have that list of all the ice cream flavours I want to try out... So stay tuned - it's gonna be a hot summer :-)