Sunday, August 8, 2010

Vegan Strawberry ice cream — secret ingredient: vodka

I haven't been making ice cream for long, approaching 2 years, but this much is clear: David Lebovitz is the authority on the subject. He wrote the book, after all, and he spends his off-time on twitter lamenting the existence of things like "astronaut ice cream."

This to say that he puts a lot of effort into perfecting his ice creams, so, while the idea of vegan strawberry ice cream would normally intimidate me, knowing just how much heavy cream and egg yolks go into the average ice cream, the fact that David co-signed this recipe convinced me to try it.

This recipe uses rice milk and alcohol (kirsch, vodka, or orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier) to give the ice cream its creamy texture. (The rice milk is the milk substitute while the alcohol prevents the mixture from becoming too hard in the freezer.)

Here is my adaptation of the recipe:



1 1/2 pounds fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp honey
1 1/2 cups plain rice milk
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp vodka


Slice the berries and toss them with the sugar and honey, and let them macerate for 1 hr at room temperature.

Puree the berries and their liquid with the rice milk, lemon juice and liquor with a standard or immersion blender. You can puree it until completely smooth and strain out some or all of the seeds by pressing the mixture through a mesh sieve. Or you can leave it slightly chunky and omit straining it. (I strained.)

Taste, and add more lemon juice or liquor, if desired.

Chill well (I chill overnight), then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.

The finished product had an incredible fresh strawberry flavor and a pretty good texture to say nothing of the fact that it's actually healthy; however, it's definitely more sherbet than ice cream. I think that was either due to possibly using too many strawberries (I eyeballed it at the farmers' market) or using berries that were very juicy, resulting in a more watery mixture. I could have also added more vodka, since it's still a little hard when it first comes out of the freezer (David says that you can add up to 3 tbsp of liquor to the mixture), but I was worried about blurring the line between strawberry ice cream and strawberry daiquiri.

I will try this again soon with a wider fruit-to-rice milk ratio because it did taste great, and I have a mostly full box a Rice Dream™ in the fridge that's not going anywhere.





veganperson said...

Vegans don't eat honey!!!!

Kristen said...

My bad. Should have noted that you can replace the honey with any liquid sugar or sweetener.

David also received some feedback on the vegan-honey issue in his post of this recipe. I found the conversation very interesting: