Cultured Ice Cream (Dairy and Vegan varieties)

After struggling in vain to find an ice cream brand that really knows me and also meets my high standards for ingredients (simplicity and quality), I took matters into my own hands. I found an ice cream machine on craigslist for $20 (it’s one of those items that’s always available on Marketplace, OfferUp, or at your local thrift shop). I then studied classic recipes and tweaked them to incorporate cultured dairy.

Dairy Kefir Ice Cream Version

Using milk kefir as the base instead of milk, the finished product is slightly tangier than ice cream, but not quite as tangy as frozen yogurt.

I usually make the recipe with non-cultured heavy cream, but you could also “kefir” the cream, too.

 

 

Kefir Ice Cream

Prep Time 8 hours 30 minutes
Curing Time 8 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dairy, Dessert
Makes 1 quarts/liters

Ingredients

Base

  • 2 cups (475 ml) whole milk kefir
  • 8 ounces (231 ml) heavy cream or kefir cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup (112g) honey
  • 1 1/4 tsp. (7 ml) vanilla extract, or 1 1/2 whole vanilla beans
  • 1/2 tsp. (3 ml) fresh grated lemon zest
  • ¾ tsp. (3 ml) fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup (125 ml /40g) Dutch process cocoa powder (for chocolate base)

Optional Mix-ins

  • cup (66 ml) chocolate chips
  • cup (66 ml) toasted coconut shreds (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • cup (66 ml) hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, or other nuts or seeds, diced
  • cup (100 ml) crushed or pureed fresh fruit (banana, pumpkin, berries, peaches, cherries, etc.)

Instructions
 

  • Chill ice cream machine bowl at least 24 hours. (I store mine in the freezer so it's always ready!)

Make Kefir Cream (Optional-- uncultured heavy cream works fine)

  • In a pint-sized jar, add 12 ounces heavy cream and 1/4 cup finished milk kefir. Stir occasionally. Wait 24-48 hours, or until cream thickens and tastes sour. See full recipe.

Prepare & Chill Base

  • Add eggs and honey to a 3 quart or larger pitcher or mixing bowl with a pouring spout. Beat until incorporated.
  • If using vanilla beans, split beans lengthwise, and scrape out the insides into mixing bowl. Add long bean pod pieces (3" or longer) to mixing bowl. If not, add vanilla extract.
  • Add kefir, cream or kefir cream, salt, and lemon zest to pitcher/bowl. Whisk to combine.
  • Place mixture in refrigerator to chill overnight or up to 8 hours.

Make Ice Cream

  • Fish out vanilla bean pods from mixture.
  • Whisk ingredients together (settling may have occurred during chilling).
  • Follow machine instructions for making ice cream. Be careful not to overfill the machine, otherwise it may overflow or not freeze properly.
  • When mixture has aerated and resembles soft-serve ice cream (usually 15 to 20 minutes for most machines), add the mix-ins. Let machine run a few more minutes.
  • Scoop ice cream into jars or wide container(s).
  • Harden in freezer overnight, at least 8 hours.

 

Vegan Cultured Ice Cream Version

This dairy-free vegan version uses coconut cream and coconut milk as the base, and culturing it with water kefir (aka tibicos). It (obviously) has a mild coconut flavor, but it’s not overpowering. I also found that this tends to be very hard once frozen. So give it an extra few minutes to thaw before serving!

Vegan Kefir Ice Cream

Prep Time 8 hours 30 minutes
Fermentation Time 3 days
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert, Vegan
Makes 1.5 quarts/liters

Equipment

  • ice cream maker

Ingredients

Base

  • 13.5 oz (400 ml), 1 can coconut milk
  • 13.5 oz (400 ml), 1 can coconut cream
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water kefir
  • 4 oz. (100 g) raw cane sugar
  • 2 tsp. (10 ml) vanilla extract, or 2 whole vanilla beans
  • 1/2 tsp. (3 ml) fresh grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp. (5 ml) fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup (190 ml / 60g) Dutch process cocoa powder (Optional for Chocolate base)

Optional Mix-ins (total 1 1/2 cups or 350 ml)

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) toasted coconut shreds (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, or other nuts or seeds, diced
  • 1 cup (250 ml) crushed fresh fruit (berries, peaches, cherries, etc.)

Instructions
 

  • Chill ice cream machine bowl at least 24 hours. (I store mine in the freezer so it's always ready!)

Make Water Kefir

Prepare & Ferment Base

  • Add coconut cream, coconut milk, water kefir, sugar, lemon zest and sugar to a 3 quart or larger pitcher or mixing bowl with a pouring spout. Whisk or stir to combine.
  • If using vanilla beans, split beans lengthwise, and scrape out the insides into mixing bowl. Add long bean pod pieces (3" or longer) to mixing bowl. If not, add vanilla extract.
  • Place mixture in refrigerator to chill and slowly ferment. You can ferment the base from 3 to 7 days.

Make Ice Cream

  • Fish out vanilla bean pods from mixture.
  • Whisk ingredients together (settling may have occurred during chilling).
  • Follow machine instructions for making ice cream. Pour mixture in slowly, being careful not to overfill the machine, otherwise it may overflow or not freeze properly.
  • When mixture has aerated and resembles soft-serve ice cream (15-20 minutes for most machines), add the mix-ins. Let machine run a few more minutes.
  • Scoop ice cream into jars or wide container(s).
  • Harden in freezer overnight, at least 8 hours.

 

Some flavor suggestions (amounts for 2 quart base)

fig basil ice creamBasil Fig Miso

  • 6 ripe fresh figs (or 1/2 cup frozen figs or fig jam)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (about 8-12 large leaves)
  • 3 Tablespoons white miso or red miso

Chocolate-cherry-chocolate chip

  • 3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh bing or Rainier cherries, pitted & chopped

Chocolate chip-hazelnut-toasted coconut

  • 3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut shreds, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts, crushed

Black Hole [from which there IS NO ESCAPE]

  • 2 crushed, or frozen then thawed brown (very ripe) medium bananas
  • 1 cup soaked walnuts, crushed
  • 1/2 cup blackberries, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon activated charcoal

Toffee-Almond

  • 1 cup soaked roasted almonds, crushed
  • 1 cup grass-fed toffee, broken into 1/4″ pieces
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Caramelized Stone Fruit-Miso-Toffee

  • 1 cup grass-fed toffee, broken into 1/4″ pieces
  • 1 cup caramelized peaches, nectarines, and/or apricots, pureed
  • 1/4 cup white (sweet) miso

Banana-Cashew-Chocolate Chip

  • 2-3 ripe bananas, preferably frozen & thawed
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews
  • 3 to 3.5oz bar dark chocolate, chipped with a knife

Pumpkin Spice-Pepita

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) soaked pepitas
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. (3 ml) ground clove
  • 1/2 tsp. (3 ml) ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. (3 ml) ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.5 ml) ground cayenne powder
  • 1 cup (250 ml) pumpkin puree

3 thoughts on “Cultured Ice Cream (Dairy and Vegan varieties)

  1. Pingback: Kefir | Fermenters Club

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