Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: relax, there’s no soy in this faux ice cream!
I will never be able to figure out why whenever I mention “soy ice cream” people automatically make a disgusted face and say “ew.” Granted, some soy ice creams are pretty awful but many are really good, so good in fact that it’s near impossible to tell that they’re dairy-free. I also like coconut milk ice creams, although I do pass on anything made from rice milk, those really are gross.
But what about a non-dairy ice cream made from almond milk? I’d never heard of it before but figured almond milk should work just like any other fake milk, essentially adding a creamy base to a fruity sorbet.
Well, it turns out I was a little off. The biggest problem in working with almond milk was that its lack of fat made it watery, causing it ti freeze like ice. It would be like using fat-free milk to make ice cream. Through a bit of trial and error I finally came up with a winning solution using both cornstarch and gelatin to thicken and add body to the batter, making for a smooth and creamy, albeit a bit cold, version of non-dairy ice cream.
Despite the trials I was determined to make this work. Not only was I intrigued by the challenge itself, but I was smitten with the idea of almond milk and peaches, given that peaches and almonds are a classic flavor combination. Plus it was a good way to use up some of the peaches that were overflowing from my kitchen after my road trip to Michigan orchard country.
Here’s the recipe:
Peach Almond Milk Faux Ice Cream – makes 1 quart
2 cups diced peaches, peeled and pitted
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons gelatin bloomed in 1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
Combine the peaches and sugar in a saucepan and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the peaches become very soft and release their juices. Puree the peaches in a food processor and strain through a fine mesh sieve back into the pot.
Return the pot to medium-low heat and stir in the almond milk. In a small bowl mix together the cornstarch and water, then add it to the peach mixture. Simmer for 1 minute.
Also bloom, or dissolve, the gelatin in 1 tablespoon water and let sit for 2 minutes before whisking it into the ice cream batter. Whisk until the gelatin has dissolved and mix in the vanilla and salt.
Chill the batter until very cold, at least two hours then churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Serve with sliced peaches.
**Almond milk is very easy to make but also available in shelf-stable containers at grocery stores.