Saturday, June 15, 2013

vegan coconut ice cream with mango swirl

our friends recently purchased a house, which seems like such a big commitment it gives me heart palpitations just thinking about it. i know it makes sense in a lot of ways, but i'm just not there yet. also i'm not really a DIY person, so i like being able to call our landlord when something goes wrong. 

but their house is super-cute and they have a backyard and a grill, so clearly a combination cookout/housewarming party is in order. i waffled back and forth for a little bit about what to make - i thought about lime-vanilla icebox cake, or some blackberry-lime cobbler, or a rhubarb and pineapple crumble...

ultimately, though, i figured out that i didn't want to turn on the oven and i DID want to make some ice cream (although someone needs to have another party soon so i have an excuse to make icebox cake). the thing with ice cream is that it's best to start a day before you need it, so you can make sure all of your ingredients are cold enough to freeze well.

mangoes have been really great lately, and we already had one in the fridge. i thought about just making a vanilla ice cream base and adding mango to it, but then i started picturing a swirl of mango going through it and then i thought a coconut base would be good for some tropical charm.

also coconut milk ice cream sounded more refreshing in this texas humidity. 

i mentioned the easiest way to cut up mangoes previously, but here it is again - cut along the flat sides of the pit, then score it into rough cubes (it can be particularly rough in this case, because you're going to cook it down anyway). then push the skin up so that it inverts and you can cut the mango away easily. ta da!

then just cook it over medium heat with sugar and lime juice. while it's cooking, mash the pieces a bit with a fork or similar. after 5 minutes or so, you should be left with a thick, slightly chunky jammy kind of mixture. let it cool for a bit and maybe add a bit more sugar and/or lime juice, to taste. 

then just pop it in the fridge to cool.

i was a little concerned that regular coconut milk would be too watery and that the result would end up missing something, texture-wise.

i was thinking of getting coconut cream, which is more concentrated, but the place i want to didn't have any. being lazy and unwilling to go somewhere else, i did some reconnaissance and found some "coconut butter." the packaging is a bit silly and has a lot of stuff about it being raw and whatever. also it seems to be a big part of all of that dumb paleo stuff. don't get me wrong, i think the food eaten on the paleo diet mostly seems like good things for people to eat, but the "science" behind it regarding human evolution is just baseless. but whatever. i guess everyone has weird diet superstitions and whatnot? i will get off my evolutionary high horse.

i decided to try blending some coconut butter into the coconut milk to thicken it and increase the coconut flavor. it seemed like a good point to add the sugar, too, so it would mix in better. then i whisked it with the rest of the can of coconut milk plus another can and put it in the fridge overnight.

this morning i got out the trusty ice cream maker and churned up the coconut mixture. it took a little over 20 minutes in my kitchenaid attachment thingy. you can tell it's done when it pulls away from the walls of the bowl and you can lift the beater out with the ice cream clinging to it. 

then layer it and the mango in whatever you're going to keep it in (i put them in a metal bowl that i'd put in the freezer while the ice cream was churning). put down a big dollop of ice cream, then spoon the cold mango over it and stir slightly to swirl the mango through. keep alternating and swirling, but you want to work pretty fast so it doesn't start melting. 

then just freeze for a couple of hours and enjoy! i think we're having ours on mini sugar cones, which are somewhat cute and, because they don't hold much, save everyone the embarrassment of licking melted streams of ice cream from their arms.* 

though that might still happen. just because i know people who buy houses doesn't mean we're all suddenly turning into brooke astors (or insert whatever current reference you like - kris jenners? countess luanns? the latter has, after all. taught us that Money Can't Buy You Class). 

*update - we did not have ours in cones, as it was pretty solidly frozen. it was still good, but next time i would add a tablespoon or two of rum to keep it from freezing so hard. 


mango swirl
1 large mango, cubed
1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice (~1/2 a lime's worth)

cook over medium heat for ~5 minutes, mashing with a fork. adjust sugar and lime to taste and refrigerate for at least several hours, preferably overnight.

coconut ice cream
2 14oz cans coconut milk (i wouldn't use the light kind here)
3-4 tablespoons coconut butter (available on amazon and in hippie stores. or you could use coconut cream for some of the coconut milk)
6 tablespoons sugar (3/8 cup - you could also probably just use 1/3 - 1/2 cup)
*optional - 1-2 tablespoons rum (this will keep it from freezing as hard)

blend ~ 3/4 can of coconut milk with the sugar and coconut butter until smooth, then whisk together with the rest of the coconut milk. chill for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight. freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions, then layer with the mango mixture, swirling together. freeze for another couple of hours (or eat immediately!) and enjoy with good friends and tiny cones. it does freeze pretty hard, so make sure to let it sit out for a bit or maybe add a tablespoon or two of rum when churning.

*this isn't the coconuttiest ice cream ever - it's fairly low-key. you could amp up the flavor by adding some toasted coconut or by steeping toasted coconut in the coconut milk before doing the rest. but that seemed like too much of a hassle, so just FYI.

listening to: Beck - Tropicalia (he looks so young in this video!). also, on repeat, Daft Punk's Get Lucky, aka the official song of summer 2013. 


  1. Even more sad now that I'll be missing L&R's housewarming!

  2. we missed you! but i'll make some for your homecoming party!