I have officially reached the point of not wanting to turn my oven on. This usually comes sooner in the summer, but Mother Nature decided to tease us with oddly pleasant July temperatures last week. It was so pleasant outside that I enjoyed a few meals alfresco and did not have to run my AC and fan full blast! In July nonetheless! I guess I naively thought it would last all summer, but I was sorely mistaken. At the market on Saturday I was already sticky with sweat at 9 AM. Yuck. At least the return of blueberry season helped a tiny bit. I'll try not to bore you with rants about the extreme summer heat so this post will simply serve as a notice that there won't be many baked goods on the blog until September (unless I cave earlier, which will most likely happen).
Moving on to tastier things, ever since Laura's post, I've been dreaming about pie and ice cream. I was pretty close to making a blueberry and peach pie the other day after the farmers market until I realized that the heat wave had returned. This caused an internal struggle. Should I make the pie and sacrifice a comfortable temperature in my apartment, or not make it and be cool? I probably struggled with this for a good while before I realized I could satisfy my craving in ice cream form. My first instinct was to roast the fruit and bake up some crust in the oven. Then I realized that still required the oven. Maybe the heat has started to affect my brain. Anywho, I knew that I had to make adjustments so I did any necessary cooking on the stove. I cooked up the fruit into a sort of quick jam, mashing it as it cooked so I didn't have to dirty my blender. Then, I made a maple sweetened crumble/crust in my cast iron skillet. It's kind of like a quick and dirty granola, but oh so tasty!
I know this recipe may have a lot of steps, but they are relatively easy and can be spread out over a couple of days if you wish. None of the ingredients are too fancy, and I've provided notes on substitutions just in case. This is perhaps one of my favorite ice creams to date, and I don't make proclamations like this often. I thought that this roasted strawberry ice cream was my favorite, but this pie-inspired version may have changed my mind. I think it's the maple sweetened crumble that makes it for me because I probably ate half of it while waiting for the ice cream to churn. Oops. Oh, and sorry (but not sorry!) for the plethora pictures, but this was one photogenic beauty!
Blueberry Peach Crumble Ice Cream
notes - as is, the recipe is gluten free, vegan, and refined sugar free. If you want to make it grain free, you can sub in some chopped almonds for the oats/quinoa flakes to make the crumble. Or, you can leave it out altogether. If you don't have time or don't want to make the fruit swirl and/or crumble, you can sub in your favorite jam and/or granola and get a similar result. Peaches and blueberries are currently both in season here, but feel free to use what is available to you.
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Base
2 cans full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (or an equal amount of sucanat or coconut sugar)
1 vanilla bean (or 1 tbsp vanilla extract)
pinch of xanthan gum (optional)
Whisk together the coconut milk, maple syrup, and xanthan gum until combined. If using sucanat or coconut sugar, you will have to heat the mixture over medium until the sugar dissolves. Scrape out the seeds of the vanilla bean and add to the mixture, whisking to distribute them in the mixture. Put the vanilla bean in the mixture, cover, and place in the fridge to chill at least 4 hours.
Blueberry Peach Swirl
2 peaches, diced
1 cup of blueberries
2-4 tbsp coconut sugar or sucanat (depending on the sweetness of your fruit)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp coconut oil
pinch of xanthan gum (optional)
In a skillet over medium heat, warm the coconut oil. Add the fruit, coconut sugar, and cinnamon and stir to coat. Stir the fruit regularly as it cooks so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. As the fruit begins to soften, mash it to break down the large pieces. Continue to stir and mash the fruit as it cooks. Once the mixture has thickened a bit, stir in the xanthan gum. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely before using. Makes about 1 cup.
2/3 cup rolled oats
2 tbsp quinoa flakes (or more rolled oats)
2 tbsp coconut oil
3-4 tbsp pure maple syrup (depending on how sweet you want it)
pinch of sea salt
In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the oats and quinoa flakes until a light golden brown. Once they are toasted and fragrant, add the coconut oil, maple syrup, and sea salt. Stir to coat the oat mixture in the maple syrup (it will bubble a bit). Continue to stir and cook the mixture for a few more minutes until it starts to stick together and is a deeper golden brown. Remove from the heat and spread the mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Place the crumble in the freezer or fridge to set. Once cooled and set, break the crumble into small pieces.
Making the Ice Cream
Remove the chilled ice cream base from the fridge. Fish out the vanilla bean and discard it. (Or, you can save it for homemade vanilla extract or vanilla sugar! Just rinse it and then it's good to go.) The coconut cream will have settled at the top so whisk the mixture until it is smooth. Process the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the directions that came with it. During the last few minutes of churning, sprinkle in about 1/2 to 2/3 of the crumble. When the ice cream is ready (it will be very soft like soft serve), get out the container you will keep it in. I tend to use my smaller ovenex loaf pan as it's easy to scoop from, but any relatively flat vessel will work. Working quickly, spread roughly 1/3 of the ice cream mixture on the bottom of your container, then dollop a few spoonfuls of the fruit swirl on it and drag your spoon around so that the fruit swirls into the ice cream. Continue this process with the rest of the ice cream. When finished, sprinkle the remaining crumble on top. Cover and freeze at least 4 hours to allow it to firm up. At this point you can enjoy it anytime! I find it's easiest to let it soften 10-15 minutes at room temperature before scooping. Makes roughly 1 quart of ice cream with a bit of leftover fruit swirl*. Enjoy :)
*the leftover fruit swirl is awesome with a bit of plain vegan yogurt for breakfast... just sayin' :)
**the peaches are from McPeak Orchards and the blueberries are from Henderson blueberry farms, both available at the Historic Longview Farmers Market