Creamy and dairy free
I made this creamy non dairy ice cream for the latest contest at Food52, they are asking for our best recipe for non dairy frozen treats. This ice cream is so creamy and delicious you would never know it’s non dairy. I made homemade almond cream, same method as making almond milk but using less water so it’s thick and creamy using that for the custard base with a little corn starch to thicken. I wanted something similar to a pralines and cream, I love that flavor. This has to be dairy free so I made a dairy free pecan brittle using vegan butter, brown sugar and dark corn syrup, it hardened nicely almost like toffee, I chopped it finely and added to the ice cream. It really is delicious, you wouldn’t know it’s dairy free.
Since there is a party today, you know Fiesta Friday I thought this would be the perfect summertime treat to cool us all down. Angie@The Novice Gardener is hosting the bash and to help her this week is Loretta @ Safari Of The Mind and Caroline @ Caroline’s Cooking. You all can join the party, follow the link to Fiesta Friday (Angie) and join the fun.
Pecan Brittle Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart
Almond Cream and quick and easy brittle:
- 3 1/2 cups raw almonds
- 3 cups filtered or spring water
- pinch of salt
- Quick Pecan Brittle
- 2 tablespoons dairy free butter (I used earth balance)
- 1/2 cup loose brown sugar (dark or light)
- 2-3 tablespoons dark corn syrup or golden syrup (use 3 if you want softer)
- 3/4 cups pecans broken into pieces
- generous pinch of sea salt
- Soak almonds overnight in spring or filtered water. Drain almonds after soaking, place in food processor with 3 cups water, salt and process. Strain through nut bag, cheese cloth or sieve. Refrigerate until ready to use. The almond cream will be quite thick the consistency of light cream.
- I did not use a candy thermometer for the brittle, Melt the butter in a small saucepan add the brown sugar and cook until the sugar is completely melted and its smooth, add the syrup and salt and pecans and cook on medium an additional five minutes stirring continuously. Line a small sheet pan with parchment or silpat and scrape the brittle onto it, spread as best you can, I pressed it flat with a doubled piece of parchment paper. Allow to cool, it will get hard, break into pieces and chop it into small fine pieces. Place in lidded container and store until ready to use.
Custard base and Making the ice cream:
- 3 cups almond cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Add all the ingredients except for the vanilla into a heavy saucepan. Heat on medium high whisking constantly until custard becomes thickened and coats the back of the spoon. Remove from heat, add the vanilla. Pour into a heat proof container, cover with plastic wrap directly on the custard. Bring to room temperature and refrigerate over night.
- Make the ice cream according to manufacturers directions on your ice cream maker. When it’s sufficiently thick add the crushed/finely chopped brittle. Spoon into freezer container and freeze until it’s scoopable consistency.
Pecan brittle ice cream
I know this is probably nothing new to many of you but for me if was a revelation, making your own almond milk is easy and yields (IMHO) a product so superior to the commercially prepared milk, I honestly was blown away. It’s my new obsession and I use it everyday in shakes or on cereal or as a snack. I researched several websites to see how it is done and tried a few different methods, I made a few changes to the recipes I saw online. You need raw almonds, bottled or filtered water, a sweetener is optional, as is flavoring and salt (preferably sea salt). I decided that I like it with just a touch of sweetener and vanilla. I probably use a little less water to make it than other recipes because I like it rich and creamy. It is delicious, nutritious and a real treat. I always used soy milk in my morning shakes but not anymore. This morning I had a banana, date shake made with the almond milk and it was heavenly. I used the leftover pulp to make some granola this weekend and it was great I have to try to think of ways to use it right now it is sitting in my freezer in ziplock bags. If any of you have any ideas on what to make with the pulp please let me know. You will need raw almonds of course, filtered or bottled water, cheesecloth or a nut milk bag and thats it. There is no real formula you can add or subtract from the amounts in this recipe. This is how I like to make it.
3 cups raw almonds
6 cups filtered water
Place almonds and water in a lidded container and refrigerate for 24-48 hours.
Making the Milk:
5 cups water
pinch of sea salt
Drain the almonds in a strainer, add to vitamix or food processor, add 5 cups bottled or filtered water, sweetener (I used 1 1/2 tsp organic cane sugar) optional flavoring (I added a tsp of vanilla), and sea salt, blend or process, If using a vitamix 2 minutes will do and if using a food processor 3-4 minutes.
Have doubled cheese cloth or nut milk bag ready over a large bowl, pour into cloth or bag and squeeze, until it is dry. Pour into container and refrigerate until ready to use.
NOTE: My first batch I used cheese cloth doubled, it worked pretty well but I found it was not completely strained, it’s not necessarily a bad thing to have a few errant pieces of nuts in your milk. The second batch I used a clean cotton tea towel and it worked like a charm, no nut pieces and it was large enough that I was able to really squeeze it and get every drop of milk. I am going to invest in a nut milk bag very soon.
Almost every day I have a shake or smoothie for breakfast. It usually has the standard list of ingredients, fruit, soy milk, yogurt, and a whole grain whizzed in the blender. It’s good but get’s boring after a while and I want something different. I volunteered to test this recipe for a Community Pick on food52, it was submitted by Annalyse, her cooks name on food52 is Sagegreen. I was intrigued by the use of avocado, walnuts and sage, I had it for breakfast and am hooked. I enjoy this shake at least once or twice a week now. It’s packed full of healthful oils from the avocado and walnuts, its only slightly sweet and I get my daily dose of fiber also from the walnuts. This shake is thick and creamy and so delicious, believe me it’s addictive. Annalyse is an accomplished cook and a University Professor and you can view her more than 300 recipes, (yes 0ver 300!!) on food52, and I have to mention that she is one talented mixologist, her drinks are creative, beautiful and so delicious. Please check them out: http://www.food52.com/cooks/12307_sagegreen
Beautiful and Delicious Shake, photo by Sagegreen
1 oz. shelled organic walnuts
3-4 one inch long fresh organic sage leaves
1/2 ripe organic avocado
1 cup lowfat, but real cultured buttermilk (or almond milk with a splash of cider vinegar for vegan option)
1 1/2 tablespoons chestnut honey (or grade B maple syrup), to taste
optionally, a few crushed ice cubes
- In a heavy heated pan like a cast iron skillet, toast the walnut pieces for about 2 minutes, just short of smoking. Pan fry the sage leaves for about 1 minute. With the bottom of a smaller pan, or other heavy instrument, crush the walnuts. Shred the sage leaves. Add these to a blender.
- Add the avocado, buttermilk, and chestnut honey. If you like a chilled drink include a few crushed ice cubes. Process until smooth. Pour into one or two glasses. This could be part of a New Year’s resolution you could keep.