Let’s talk about ice cream.
Growing up, we ate a lot of ice cream. I’m not sure if that was because I grew up in Wisconsin or because my father gave into our childish whims and let us have it so we would stop complaining. Probably the latter option. I remember summer days when we would go up to our cottage in Michigan, play a round of “Put Put” (the local run down mini golf that no longer exists), and then get a waffle cone of ice cream at the little stand down the street from mini golf. Yes you heard me, waffle cones for everyone. In Michigan you can get my all time favorite, Mackinaw Island Fudge. For those of you who have been to Mackinaw Island you know that they are famous for their fudge, and for good reason too.
Thus, my love of ice cream began.
So then, in college I discovered I was lactose intolerant and that was a real bummer. The best ice cream flavors were always made with dairy and it seemed all the non-dairy alternatives were 3 times as expensive. Maybe that was a good thing, though. It meant that I ate a lot less ice cream because I was on a college kid budget. But, it also meant that every time I did eat it, it was the real thing, and I was regretting it for the next 2 hours.
A few years later, my sister got me an ice cream maker as a birthday gift. I didn’t use it for the longest time because it seemed like a lot of work and I stink at planning ahead. When I wanted ice cream it was immediately – not, oh let me freeze the bowl overnight and I can eat it tomorrow. Since then, I’ve gotten a lot better about planning my meals and I don’t crave sweets as much because I am 1) not eating them as often and 2) eating a lot less processed foods so I am not as hungry.
On that note, you’ll need to plan at least one day in advance for this recipe. The ice cream base will need to freeze for 6-8 hours, I usually do overnight the day before. I have found with ice cream that you’ll need to freeze it for an additional 4-5 hours after you’ve churned it. So, plan ahead.
Bourbon Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Servings: 7-8 (1/2 cup) servings
Time: 15 hours, including freeze time
- 1 14 oz can of coconut milk
- 1 14 oz can of coconut cream (I get mine at Trader Joes – if you can’t find it, another can of coconut milk will do but the cream makes it super smooth)
- 2 TBSP coconut oil
- 3 TBSP bourbon (optional, if children are involved)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 vanilla bean pods (insides scraped out)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6-8 hours before you’re going to make the ice cream, place the churning bowl in the freezer. I usually do this the night before. It’s fine to chill for longer, but you definitely want to follow the 6 hour minimum.
- Heat coconut milk, cream, coconut oil and sugar over medium heat in a saucepan. Whisk for about 10-15 minutes. The mixture should be simmering and all sugar fully dissolved.
- Remove from heat and added remaining ingredients. Whisk to combine.
- Allow the mixture to chill in the freezer for about an hour.
- Now, you have to do this part pretty quickly. Take the churning bowl out of the freezer and set up accordingly. If this is your first time using it, check out the instructions, okay? Once the ice cream maker is moving, gradually pour the mixture in.
- Let the ice cream churn for about 45 minutes. It should start to solidify around the edges of the bowl.
- Place the bowl back into the freezer. You may also pour the ice cream into a separate pan – 9X9 usually works or a deep bread loaf pan. Cover and place in the freezer for an additional 6 hours until the ice cream has set.
- Remove from the freezer and scoop out with your favorite pie, cake, or fruit crumble.