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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Recipe: Fig and Lavender Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Summer's in full force, and with the weather hitting the mid-20s, what could be better than a bowl of cold ice cream? (At long last, a new recipe!)

If you were at our Ice Cream workshop back at the start of the year, you may be familiar with Karin's recipe for egg-and-dairy based ice cream base -- but what if you're looking for something a bit lighter, or just don't trust yourself to not make scrambled eggs in warm cream?

Whether you're vegan or want to try your hand at making a non-dairy based ice cream, we've got an ice cream recipe here that takes the best of summer and packs it into a light but creamy and satisfying ice cream.

The original recipe was made with full-fat coconut milk. If you're allergic, you could try substituting it for almond or soy milk, or default on dairy milk, but we can't guarantee the same results with these types of milk. Most coconut milk is packed in cans, but you can sometimes find brands that pack their coconut milk in cartons (e.g. Aroy-D).

Also, a word of caution: rice milk could work, but it doesn't have nearly the same fat content as coconut, almond, soy, or dairy milk, so it may not set up the same. If you have success with rice milk (or are just keen on ice cream), please feel free to drop us a line in the Comments section and share your ideas, tips, and experiences!

Now, without further ado...

Fig and Lavender Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Inspired by Girl Cooks World.

To email, print, or text this recipe, click here.


2 15-oz. cans full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
8 to 10 ripe figs
zest from two medium oranges
1 tablespoon dried lavender (more, if desired)
2 teaspoons ginger powder (or fresh ginger, grated)
1 teaspoon black pepper, finely ground
tablespoon brandy (optional)
coarse sea salt, to taste (not optional)

Credit: John Donges via Photopin (cc)


1. Set aside 1 cup of coconut milk. Combine the remaining milk with the sugar and salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of coconut milk and cornstarch until smooth. Add to the saucepan.

3. Add the orange zest, ginger powder, and black pepper to the milk mixture and stir well. Stir regularly, until the mixture thickens and can coat the back of a spoon.

4. Remove the coconut milk mixture from heat, stir in the remaining 3/4 cup of coconut milk, and let cool to room temperature.

5. Wash the figs and remove the stems. Cut them into halves and mash well with a fork.

6. When the coconut milk mixture has cooled, combine the milk, fig purée, and lavender in a blender. Pulse until smooth.

7. Chill for 1 to 2 hours in the fridge. Remove and add in brandy, if using, and the coarse sea salt.

8. To turn the custard into ice cream, follow the steps from one of the following options. Afterwards, scrape the ice cream into a storage container and freeze until it reaches serving consistency.

For ice cream maker: Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer's instructions.

For food processor: Pour the custard into ice cube trays and freeze for at least 4 hours or until firm. Place the cubes of frozen custard into a food processor and process for about 30 seconds, until soft and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, as necessary.

For hand mixing (using hand mixer, immersion stick blender, whisk, or wooden spoon): Pour the custard into a shallow, freezer-safe container to freeze. A glass Pyrex dish works well for this. Every half an hour or so, for the next 2 to 3 hours, stir the mixture vigorously, making sure to break up any ice crystals and frozen sections that are forming.

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