Please welcome James Trenda to Against All Grain today! James has yet to start a blog, (someone please knock some sense into him and tell him he is wasting serious talents by not doing so!) but showcases his lovely photography and delicious recipes on his instagram and Facebook, which is how I came across him and asked him to post here for you guys! Do him a favor and send him a little love on both of those links if you like what you see below! He is currently trying to find time to create a website that he is happy with in between work and life, so for now he shares his recipes directly on his Facebook wall, or in this special case, with my readers! I have been so busy lately and haven't had time to write up the 30+ recipes that are just sitting in my notebook with photos waiting to be edited and posted for you, so finally, you have a new recipe on Against All Grain! The rest of the post is in Jame's hands!
I confess—I have a bit of a sweet tooth. Okay, that’s not much of a confession. But it’s true. I actually think everyone is born with one, but some people lose them as they get older. Kind of like wisdom teeth. I still have all of those as well.
It should come as no surprise then that the first recipe I share with the world is for ice cream. And nothing satisfies that sweet tooth of mine, and keeps me coming back for more (and more), like the sweet taste and alluring aroma of vanilla. I’d sprinkle some fresh vanilla seeds over fried eggs and salads if it were socially acceptable. Actually, I probably wouldn’t do that, but I used to sneak whiffs of vanilla extract from the pantry when I was little. I almost passed out a few times. That is some potent stuff, but fresh vanilla is as silky and seductive as a little black dress, and its taste is as sensual as a goodnight kiss. To mix it into a thick, luscious ice cream is to fulfill its destiny. It’s sophisticated, but it’s not conceited, and if I weren’t already married…well, never mind.
The ice cream I’ve made for you today is as simple as ice cream comes. There’s no dairy; no eggs; and it doesn’t require an ice cream machine. It does take a little longer to make, but it is worth the wait—I promise.
If you’ve ever tried to make ice cream at home before without dairy, without eggs, and—especially—without an ice cream machine, then you may have run into many of the same problems I did. For instance, a texture that bears a striking resemblance to a glacier. The sensation that your taste buds are playing ice hockey. A total lack of creaminess.
So what’s the secret to perfectly creamy homemade ice cream without a machine? Well, sugar for one. But David Lebovitz says that if you’re not going to use a machine to at least use a custard base, but that would require eggs. Instead, I’ve been trying to incorporate gelatin into more and more food lately, and ice cream seemed like a natural fit. Dave seems to agree.
I’ve only recently begun making ice cream at home, and if you haven’t tried before, you really should. It’s so much fun, and the flavor combinations are endless. If you aren’t allergic to eggs, I also recommend trying a custard base just because I found tempering egg yolks to be strangely relaxing—that is once you get the hang of it.
I saw these beautiful organic blackberries at the market the other day and I just had to have them, so I transformed them into a simple syrup and swirled it into the ice cream. And to think, it wasn’t that long ago that I ate my very first blackberry, but that’s another story.
I had a lot of fun hanging out with you today, and a very special thank you to Danielle for being such a wonderful host. I hope I can come back and visit again soon! Please feel free to share your own homemade ice cream experiences in the comments below.
James Trenda is an aspiring food writer and photographer who also loves to cook. He can be found on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram under the handle ImNoChef and never disappoints with his delightful recipes and even more lovely food photos.
I have 2 questions. First, can agar powder be used in place of the gelatin in this recipe? And if I don’t have a whisk attachment for my mixer, can I use the regular beaters for this process? Lastly, THANK YOU!!! I don’t have an ice cream machine but would love to try some ice cream recipes. Good luck with your food blogging aspirations! Looks like you are off to a good start!!!
I’ve never used agar agar before, but based on some quick research, it looks like you can try, but you might want to use less. Perhaps a 1/2-3/4 tsp, rather than a whole teaspoon. I found the whisk works more efficiently, but regular beaters are fine, just make sure you scrape any frozen bits off the sides of the bowl as you go. As more and more of it freezes, you might want to use a wooden spoon to scrape down the sides of the bowl before you start beating it. The idea here is just to incorporate the ice crystals (i.e., break them up and dissolve them, so to speak) and air bubbles into the unfrozen portion. It’s not an exact science, just beat it on high for about a minute, and you should be good.
Let me know if you have any more questions.
Thanks so much for your responses! Greatly appreciated!!!
just wondering if the agar flakes were used or not? I have some on hand and thought I might try it too.
Absolutley beautiful recipe and mesmerizing photography. Love!
Thank you for sharing James with us. I’m definitely a new fan.
Aw thanks, Amber! 🙂
This looks wonderful! My son is allergic to milk and eggs and I don’t have an ice cream maker~ so this is an answer to prayer 🙂
Can’t wait to try it. Running out to get more coconut milk right now 🙂
Awesome! Just leave another comment if you have any questions, and I’ll do my best to answer it quickly.
This looks so good & your photos are amazing!
I was JUST contemplating about a semi-freddo type coconut based icecream….but I didn’t want to figure it out myself! This is great!
Hello. is it ok to use an ice cream machine? thanks
You can give it a try. It didn’t work for me, but I suspect my bowl wasn’t cold enough. If it doesn’t work, you can always continue with the original method.
Will somebody please tell me how much vanilla extract I can substitute for the vanilla beans? Thanks.
In my opinion, there’s really no substitute for whole vanilla beans, but I suppose you could increase the amount of extract to 1 Tbsp.
Well, how about Vanilla Bean Paste instead of the pods (which are terribly expensive here in the small town in which I live). It has all the seeds in it and it measures the same as vanilla extract, and it tastes amazing IMO, at least its much better than your average extract.
Your photos are fabulous. The blackberry ice cream seems amazingly delicious. Keep on snapping those photos and sharing your recipes with us. I am so proud of you.
Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy
what a fabulous fabulous post! this sounds so delicious! and great vanilla bean tutorial!
where do you find “grass-fed gelatin”?
This is what I use: https://www.amazon.com/Great-Lakes-Unflavored-Gelatin-16-Ounce/dp/B0008D6WBA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1373403547&sr=8-2&keywords=gelatin
Most people I read, including myself, use this brand. You can buy a two pack or a single. It seems expensive, but they last a while.
I have an ice cream maker (freezer bowl type). Could I use that after chilling the mixture?
I’m not sure. You can try. If it doesn’t thicken up, you can just proceed with the original method.
Just made this and it’s delicious!
Instead of making the blackberry vanilla bean ice cream I turned it into chocolate choc chip (used one heaped teaspoon cacao powder and cacao nibs).
Thanks for the recipe, definitely making it again 🙂
Have pre ordered your book too, can’t wait to read it!
I’m glad it worked out for you. Yeah, you can pretty much substitute any flavors you want.
The photos are beautiful, and I attempted the recipe the other day. It was all working out well until I froze it for the last time. It separated to where a small amount on top is perfect texture, taste, etc… but then underneath the rest is just hard, ice-like frozen. It’s very clearly separated, and I’m not sure what step I messed up on, or if you know what happened. Thanks for sharing the recipe, I’d love feedback if you know what went wrong.
Hmm. I’m not sure. Can you provide a little more detail? Did you make any substitutions of ingredients, equipment, etc., or did you attempt to follow the recipe exactly?
Eileen @ Phoenix Helix
Any chance you’ll add a printable version of the recipe to this post – just a quick text list of ingredients and instructions? I hate to print off the whole post or transcribe it by hand. The pictures are gorgeous, though.
Sorry about that. You could try copying and pasting the instructions into a program like Microsoft Word and print them out that way. Then you would only have to type up the ingredients.
I feel the same way. Almost all the other food blogs I visit have recipes that have a link to send just the recipe to the printer and leaves out all the other text.
If you have Google Chrome, download the Print Friendly extension. You can take just about any webpage and customize it to print (or save as a PDF) only what you want just by clicking to remove what you don’t want. Its been a lifesaver for me! 🙂
These recipes are great however, we cannot eat honey, agave or maple syrup – only stevia.
We are totally grain free, sugar free (including the above and tropical fruit) and dairy free – except for sheep and goat products.
We can have chicken, turkey and fish but not red meat of pork.
Do any of your recipes cover these restrictions, or is it possible to use a honey substitute?
Could I use nut milk instead of coconut?
Nut milks probably won’t work because their fat content usually isn’t as high, which is an important factor in this recipe.
Hi Danielle I am in the middle of making this as I type lol, I see on the pic it says to use 2 13.5 oz cans of unsweetened coconut milk, but in the recipe below the pics it says to use 2 3.5 oz cans of coconut milk it doesn’t say unsweetened, I hope this goes good! Wish me luck. I will update 🙂