Overview

This vegan ice cream base is smooth and creamy and more than a dairy-free consolation prize. We found that adding cornstarch helped improve the texture and cut down on iciness in the finished ice cream.

You can use this recipe as a blank slate for your preferred ice cream flavor.

Recipe note: The base mixture needs to be refrigerated for at least a few hours, and preferably overnight. The churned ice cream needs to freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Scale and get a printer-friendly version of the recipe here.


Ingredients

2 1/2 cups canned coconut milk, preferably all-natural

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/3 cup unrefined cane sugar, preferably organic

1/4 cup agave nectar, preferably organic

Pinch sea salt


Steps

Step 1

Whisk about 2 tablespoons of the coconut milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to form a smooth slurry.

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Step 2

Combine the remaining coconut milk, sugar, agave nectar and sea salt in a large (4-quart) saucepan, using an immersion (stick) blender or whisk to thoroughly incorporate. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, then remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Return the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for about 1 minute, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, with a consistency close to heavy cream. Remove from the heat. (At this point, you can whisk in flavor add-ins, such as fruit purees.)

Step 3

Pour the mixture into a container, seal and refrigerate for at least a few hours, and preferably overnight.

Step 4

When you are ready to churn, assemble your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions and turn it on. Pour in the chilled ice cream base and spin until it’s thick and creamy — about the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.

Step 5

Pack the ice cream into a storage container, alternating it with layers of your add-ins of choice, if using; do not stir (to retain the layering). Press a sheet of parchment paper directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

Adapted from “Incredible Vegan Ice Cream: Decadent, All-Natural Flavors Made with Coconut Milk,” by Deena Jalal (Page Street Publishing, 2019); cornstarch slurry method from “Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts” by Jeni Britton Bauer (Artisan, 2014).

Tested by Becky Krystal; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

Scale and get a printer-friendly version of the recipe here.

Did you make this recipe? Take a photo and tag us on Instagram with #eatvoraciously.

Nutrition

Calories: 220; Total Fat: 14 g; Saturated Fat: 10 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 100 mg; Carbohydrates: 21 g; Sugars: 20 g; Protein: 0 g.