Ice cream treats for vegan and non-vegan alike
Ahh, the smell of summer. I love the cut grass, the sun cream, and the food! Summer weather is great for exploring interesting salads, easy BBQ food and picnics too. This month sees us working hard in the shop keeping the deli counter well stocked with foods suitable for warmer weather, including things to nibble on when it’s just too hot to eat much at all.
July is a busy month in Ludlow. It’s the end of term for schools and lots of events including the Green Festival, the Ludlow10 run and Ludlow Dog Day. July will also feature my favourite food of all time – ICE CREAM. It’s not just in hot weather either, I’m that polar bear having ice cream in the North Pole in the depths of winter, that’s how much I love the stuff.
My girls tend to agree on this although we all have differing favourite flavours. This month, I’m doing my best to get you hooked on making your own ice cream with two simple recipes. I’ll repeat that: “SIMPLE”. I promise no churning every few hours and you don’t need an ice cream maker if you don’t already have one.
One is lemon-curd ice cream and my eldest daughter recently proclaimed, “My Mum makes the best ever lemon-curd ice cream”. No bias there, then. And the other, coconut chocolate ice cream, is a dairy-free treat, perfect for the diary intolerant or for vegan ice-cream cravers and so delicious, everyone will love it.
I have been making the following lemon curd ice cream recipe for more than a decade and trust me, it is THE easiest recipe in the world to make. I've never made a bad batch and more importantly, no complaints. I've also shared it with loads of people who have also successfully made it.
Honestly, give it a whirl and you'll be amazed at both the intensity of flavour and the ease of making it. After, you've impressed yourself with this recipe, you might as well go ahead and make the chocolate coconut one. After all, as written on a tea towel or t-shirt somewhere (slightly modified): “You can’t buy happiness but you sure can make ice cream and that is pretty much the same thing.”
Lemon Curd Ice Cream (yields roughly 4 - 5 servings)
Good quality jar of lemon curd - between 300g and 400g
tub of double cream - between 280ml and 300ml
That's it (honest).
1. Pour the cream into a tub, scrape out every last bit with a spatula. Whisk it by hand. I have a good hand whisk and it takes me about four minutes to whisk it up, (you can halve that time with an electric whisk of course) until it starts to hold its shape. By that I mean when you lift the whisk and it makes a little creamy mountain with a whippy ice cream top.
2. Gently tip and scrape the lemon curd on top of the cream and fold it in with a serving spoon or a spatula. By folding I mean mix it by turning some cream from underneath on top of the curd and repeat until it is mixed up. Move the bowl round while you do this as it's easier.
3. Pour and scrape the mixture into a single or two separate tubs to freeze, I tend to recycle 2 takeaway tubs or an old ice cream tub would do. The amount of ice cream you generate is what you’ll put in the tubs and what you’ll have to eat.
4. If you are fussy about ice crystals on the surface of your ice cream place a piece of greaseproof paper over the surface of the ice cream mixture to prevent this.
5. Freeze for at least 4 hours.
You can make this with any kind of curd, I love blackcurrant but my daughter is less keen. Don't bother trying to add extras to the ice cream, it needs to be plain.
I’ve tried meringue pieces, which are not crisp enough and the flavour disappears in the ice cream. Chocolate chips don’t work because they compete against the lemon. However, it is great served in a cone or served up complemented with a shortbread biscuit, meringues or raspberries.
Coconut Chocolate ice cream
1 tin of condensed coconut milk
half a tin of coconut milk (freeze the rest, or make double the recipe, or make a curry to use up the other half).
1 heaped teaspoon of cocoa powder
cocoa nibs (optional but worth it)
1. Tip both condensed coconut milk and coconut milk into a large bowl and mix together until just combined. It takes me roughly two minutes. It will be runnier than the soft mountains of the double cream in the lemon curd recipe, here you are just mixing to combine the ingredients.
2. Add the cocoa powder and mix again until combined.
3. Pour into two containers as with the lemon curd recipe.
4. Optional but I like to add cocoa nibs* to the top of the ice cream before I freeze it, which add a bit of crunch and extra chocolate flavour.
*Cocoa nibs are the shavings from the cocoa bean and are unrefined and contain many more antioxidants than actual chocolate because they are unprocessed. They are considered a 'super food' and I love the flavour. You can also add diary free chocolate chunks which are equally as tasty.
5. Again, as an option, you can cover the surface of the ice cream with greaseproof paper to protect from ice crystals.
6. Freeze for at least 4 hours before serving. This is also lovely in a cone, or dish up with a crisp biscuits or some sliced banana.