Is there anything better in the summer than homemade ice cream? When it’s topped with seasonal berries, I think not.
Heaven in a bowl. Spoon, please.
This past weekend, my roommate and I got the ice cream machine churning with not just one, but TWO coconut ice cream creations. (You can find the other recipe here: Vegan Cardamom Coconut Ice Cream with Blueberries.)
Afterward, my roommate declared, “I think I actually like coconut ice cream better than the regular kind.”
I may have to agree. Although, this roasted strawberry-fennel combination could be skewing my opinion. These two vibrant ingredients are a match made to be. Yum.
Fennel has a mild licorice-like flavor that adds that refreshing punch of flavor you get from an herb, yet without becoming overpowering like often happens with herbs. This is good news, since the real star in this ice cream should be the strawberries.
Caramelized in the oven so that their flavors condense, strawberries take on a new and appreciated meaning once roasted. The fennel allows for this sweet flavor to shine, while acting as the perfect, complimenting partner in crime. Teamwork.
This recipe’s not vegan like the other one, but you could certainly omit the eggs if you wish. They are there to amp up the creaminess that’s already inherent in the coconut milk. Without the eggs, you’ll achieve an ice cream that’s still creamy on its own, but will be slightly more condensed upon removing from the freezer. The solution? Simply let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. That little bit of melt will revive the cream of the coconut.
Do you have a favorite ice cream recipe? I’m in the market for something chocolaty and/or peanut buttery, but am also loving the uniqueness of various herbs/spices. Would love to hear what you’re coming up with!
- 1 lb. (16 oz.) strawberries, tops removed, quartered
- 2 medium strands of fennel fronds, finely chopped (remove bulb)
- 2 tsp. + 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- Salt, pinch
- 2 egg yolks (optional)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 (13.5) oz. can coconut milk
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 300F.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Scatter the strawberries and fennel on the sheet, and then toss with 2 tsp. of brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Spread in an even layer and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until strawberries are soft and begin to caramelize. Remove from oven, and allow the strawberries and fennel to completely cool.
- Set a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, but do not let the bowl touch the water. Add the egg yolks, regular sugar, and 2 Tbsp. brown sugar. Stir for about 5 minutes, until sugar is melted. Whisk in the can of coconut milk and the vanilla. Continue to whisk until mixture feels smooth. You will notice it begin to thicken a bit. Turn off the heat and strain through a fine strainer. (You can skip this step if not using the egg.) Transfer the bowl to the fridge and cool completely.
- Once cool, add your liquid to the ice cream maker and churn according to instructions. Once about 75% finished, add in the cooled, roasted strawberries and let it continue. Transfer to a container and freeze until firm.
The eggs in this recipe amp up the level of creaminess, but can be eliminated to make this vegan. It will still be super yummy and creamy, especially when left at room temp. for 5 minutes before eating.