This recipe is not about making the easiest paleo vanilla ice cream, but rather about making the best paleo vanilla ice cream. The secret to this amazing tasting ice cream is combining two different homemade milk alternatives: almond and coconut. The combination means that neither flavor overpowers the vanilla and you end up with just wonderful tasting vanilla ice “cream”. By making your own almond and coconut milk, you get a fresh, creamy, clean taste that you just can’t replicate with coconut milk from a can or store-bought almond milk full of homogenizing ingredients (like guar gum, which is a gut irritant!). It takes a little planning ahead, but it really isn’t much work. Yields about 1 quart of ice cream.
Note on ice cream makers: This is a great investment for paleo families because it opens up so many delicious possibilities. The Ice Cream Maker that Santa brought me is fairly simple, with a bowl that lives in the coldest part of my freezer ready for whenever I feel like whipping up some sorbet for dessert. It makes very creamy ice cream in about 10 minutes, sometimes less, and it is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. You could make this ice cream by putting the custard in a metal bowl in the freezer and whisking every 20 minutes or so for the 3-4 hours that it would take to harden. I did this once before getting an Ice Cream Maker. It works, but it isn’t as good as using a machine (one of the reasons why it was on my Christmas list last year).
- 1 cup whole Raw Almonds
- 1¼ cup Shredded Unsweetened Coconut
- 1 Madagascar Vanilla Bean
- 6 egg yolks
- ¼ cup Honey, to taste
1. Soak almonds in at least 2 cups water overnight. Rinse almonds thoroughly (until water rinses clear). Add 2 cups fresh water to almonds.
2. Place soaked almonds and water in blender and blend on high for 3-4 minutes (I divide mine into two batches and do this in my Magic Bullet).
3. Strain almond pulp through a folded square of Cheesecloth, Nut-Milk Bag or Extra Fine Mesh Strainer. Discard pulp.
4. Add 2 cups hot freshly boiled water to the coconut in a blender. Blend on high for 4-5 minutes (Again, I divide mine into two batches and do this in my Magic Bullet).
5. Strain coconut pulp through a folded square of Cheesecloth, Nut-Milk Bag or Extra Fine Mesh Strainer. (You will probably want to wait for it to cool a little to help you squeeze the coconut milk out). Discard pulp.
6. Place almond milk and coconut milk into a medium saucepot. Slice the vanilla bean in half with a sharp knife and add to the pot.
7. Heat on medium-low heat, stirring very frequently, until hot and steaming but just short of a simmer (do not let the milk simmer!).
8. Separate eggs (discard whites or save for another purpose) and place yolks in a heat-safe container (a pyrex measuring cup works well).
9. Temper the egg yolks by adding a ladle full of hot milk to the yolks while stirring the yolks. Now add the tempered yolks to the saucepot, again stirring constantly.
10. Heat the mixture on medium-low, stirring constantly and never letting it simmer, until the custard thickens (should coat the back of a wooden spoon and be about as thick as heavy cream), about 6-8 minutes. (If the custard boils, the egg will curdle. If this happens, it’s still salvageable: remove from heat immediately and pulse through a blender until smooth.)
11. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl or measuring cup to cool.
12. Let cool to room temperature. Remove the vanilla bean and scrape the vanilla seeds off the bean with a spoon or the back of a sharp knife. Add the vanilla seeds back to the custard and discard the pod. Stir in the honey.
13. Chill the custard in the fridge until cold.
14. Place the chilled custard in your Ice Cream Maker and follow the directions. Enjoy! Store any leftovers in the soft zone of your freezer.