Homemade dairy-free coconut ice cream is an indulgence any time of year. Then the other day my friend Kirtan brought me a basket of peaches from her tree, heavy with fruit. I couldn’t bring myself to cook these gorgeous peaches. Creamy peach ice cream was the result, delicate and divine, with bits of fruit and crunchy ginger pecan crumbles in each bite – amazing! Or if you prefer, use the pecan crumble as a topping. Or skip it altogether and you’ll be tree-nut free. Fresh orange zest adds a subtle zing to the peach ice cream flavor. Any style blender will work, and an ice-cream machine makes it easy. If you use one of the zero-glycemic sweeteners suggested, this is a guilt-free dessert that’s compatible with most alternative diets. I used one can of thick coconut milk, which is 1 3/4 cups in 2 steps: 1 1/2 cups in the first blending, and 1/4 cup for cooking the agar. Oh, and my dinner guests were moaning with pleasure as they ate it – I have the recording on my iPhone! This recipe makes 2 cups heavenly peach ice cream.
- 2 tablespoons sweetener such as Just Like Sugar Table Top natural chicory root sweetener, or 1 teaspoon PureLo Lo Han Sweetener by Swanson, or 1 ½ tablespoons raw honey, or your favorite sweetener.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons warm water
- 3 tablespoons fresh ginger root, finely diced
- 2 pinches unprocessed salt
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup pecans, soaked and toasted if possible (See All About Nuts)
- 1 1/2 cups thick full-fat unsweetened coconut milk. (One 13.5 ounce can, such as Native Forest organic Full-fat coconut milk)
- 1/3 cup sweetener such as Just Like Sugar Table Top natural chicory root sweetener, or 1 tablespoon PureLo Lo Han Sweetener by Swanson, or ¼ cup raw honey, or your favorite sweetener.
- 2 fresh ripe peaches, one to blend, one to chop into chunks
- Zest of 1/2 orange
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon unprocessed salt
- 1/3 cup coconut oil softened, but not hot (place jar in lukewarm water to soften oil)
- 1 teaspoon agar powder or 1 tablespoon agar flakes, dissolved in:
- 1/4 cup thick unsweetened coconut milk, to cook agar
- Freeze an ice cream maker very cold. Preheat oven to 350º F.
- In a cereal bowl, mix the crumble ingredients, starting with the sweetener and warm water. Stir to dissolve the sweetener. Then add the remaining crumble ingredients and stir to combine. Spread on a parchment-covered baking sheet and toast lightly for 10 minutes until hot and bubbly. Allow to cool and chop into small pieces. Spread again on the parchment covered baking tray and chill in the refrigerator.
- Chop one of the peaches into small 1/4-inch pieces and refrigerate.
- In any blender, combine 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk, sweetener, orange zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt. Blend well until smooth. Add the barely warm coconut oil and blend again.
- In a shallow nonstick pan over medium heat, stir the agar into the 1/4 cup of coconut milk. For agar flakes, cook and stir gently for 2 to 3 minutes, until it is bubbling and gummy, and the flakes begin to dissolve. For agar powder, cook and stir gently 1 minute. Then in both cases add the agar mixture to the blender immediately and blend well to remove any lumps.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl and chill for several hours in the refrigerator.
- Pour the mixture into a cold ice-cream maker and process.
- When ice cream is almost finished, add chopped peaches and crumble.
- Store the ice cream in flat containers in the freezer, with the surface also covered tightly with plastic wrap to prevent the formation of crystals. Remove from freezer 20 minutes before serving, to soften.