Gluten-Free Coconut Milk Ice Cream Recipe (No Ice Cream Machine Required!)
This recipe is simple and I mean simple. Like, ‘no ice cream machine necessary’ sort of simple. Plus it’s gluten free. This is essentially one of my friends most favorite snacks right now. There are only three necessary ingredients (though you should use four if you want that extra coconutty flavour).
This is a super-fun tropical type ice cream. Surprisingly though, it’s not very strong on coconut flavour. You can make so many adjustments to this ice cream and I’ll include them at the bottom after the most basic ice cream recipe.
This recipe is, I’m not going to lie, a little tricky. If you don’t do ice cream with a machine, you have to be pretty rigorous about following the rules. (But really, if you can’t afford a machine, it’s totally – really – honestly – worth it to make).
– 3 cans (14 ounces each) coconut milk (or you can make your own), 2 of the 3 refrigerated for at least 24 hours (avery important note, you have to use full fat coconut milk. Embrace it. It’s yummy. Cool trick! If you pick up the can of coconut milk and shake it and you can hear sloshing, move on. The higher fat content the coconut milk can has, the less sloshing noises you will hear.)
– 3/4 cup (150 g) coconut sugar (you can swap the sugar for honey or maple syrup, but stay away from other sugar replacements)
– 1 teaspoon (3 g) unflavored powdered gelatin
– In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan, place the entire contents of the 1 room-temperature can of coconut milk and the sugar, and mix to combine well. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to prevent it from splattering, until it is reduced at least by half and thickened (about 10 minutes). You can also cook the mixture over low heat for about 35 minutes, and stir much less frequently (I recommend going this route, but stirring every five minutes). This is now your sweetened condensed coconut milk. Remove from the heat and set aside to allow to cool completely. Don’t burn the milk or you’ll never get the recipe right.
– Remove the remaining two cans of coconut milk carefully from the refrigerator, without shaking them at all. The solid should have separated from the liquid while it was chilling, and you don’t want to reintegrate them (you just want the fat solids). Remove the lids from the cans, scoop out only the solid white coconut (discarding all of the liquid for use later in something delicious), and place it in a large bowl. With a hand mixer (or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment), whip the coconut on high speed for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy and nearly doubled in volume. Place the whipped coconut cream in the refrigerator to chill for about 10 minutes.
– Place the gelatin in a small bowl, and mix well with 2 tablespoons of the sweetened condensed coconut milk from the first step. Allow to sit for 5 minutes while the gelatin dissolves. The mixture will swell. Heat a pot of boiling water. In a heat-safe dish that sits above the hot water line, melt the gelatin. Allow to cool slightly and then add the mixture to the rest of the cooled sweetened condensed coconut milk.
– Remove the coconut whipped cream from the refrigerator and add the sweetened condensed coconut milk mixture*. Whip once more until light and creamy, and well-combined (another 1 to 2 minutes). Scrape the mixture into a 2 quart freezer-safe container*. Cover tightly and freeze until firm (about 6 hours). Serve frozen. If it is at all difficult to scoop, allow to sit in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before scooping and serving.
Okay, so I promised variants in the recipes, here they are. Where marked with an * is where you can insert your changes. Liquids (vanilla, hazelnut, mint extract) are the first * and solids (chocolate chips, shredded coconut, fruit chunks
Vanilla Chocolate Chip:
So there’s a vanilla chocolate chip recipe, where you combine the vanilla (to taste… maybe a tablespoon) into the sweetened condensed coconut milk once it’s cooled. Then fold in the chocolate chips before you put the mixture into your airtight freezer container.
Tropical Ice Cream:
This one is pretty simple. Get some coconut extract (tblsp) and mix it into your sweetened condensed coconut milk. Add in additional solids into your ice cream, like shredded coconut, mango, pineapple chunks.
Mint, Green Tea Ice Cream
Okay, this one is a bit different. You can use a tablespoon matcha powder when you’re reducing the coconut milk in the first step, (or you can throw a teabag or two while you’re reducing the coconut milk, just make sure to take them out!). Get your mint extract (about a teaspoon) and mix it into your cooled, sweetened condensed coconut milk.
Maple Coconut Ice Cream.
This is simple and my favorite way to eat this ice cream. Swap out the sugar/honey for 2/3 a cup of maple syrup.