Coconut Berry Cobbler Ice Cream (Dairy Free, Gluten Free)
Logan and I have been taking long walks after dinner. The sun's usually just setting, so the neighborhood is all glowy. Lightning bugs are drunkenly heaving up and down through the humid air. Cars seem lazy as they rev along side streets, constantly in stop and go mode with the many traffic lights directing narrow 4 way interchanges. Tiger lilies bob. Overhanging peach trees with their still-green, fuzzy knobs of fruit tease. Tall grassy weeds tell the well tended edges of yards to piss off. We, arm in arm, walk on. Talking. Not about much. You can see the tops of blue mountains in the distance from the park. So we'll sit down on a hard, green, metal bench and absorb the sight as best we can. Flicking away mosquitoes with a wave of a hand, listening to the creak of a kid pumping back and forth on a swing set all alone, overhearing the drama of some poor folks down the way have a shouting match (He my baby! You just miserable and you make e'ry one around you miserable!). We shrug it off and walk home, thankful for our peaceful lives and plentiful food and beautiful city.
One of the best things about living in a city is having friends who live right down the street. They stop by unannounced -- ok, maybe with a text 5 minutes before -- and you welcome them in, share your meal, share your heart and offer your ear or your words. Having grown up essentially on an island (a beautiful, remote island surrounded by ocean and bay and a wildlife reserve) I was always separated from my friends by distance. The only people around were kind, retired folks who moved to the island to reflect on memories of lives well lived. Needless to say, if it weren't for the constant company of my younger brother I would have been a lonely young girl.
A number of our friends dream of starting a commune amongst each other, out in the wide farm land of Nelson County. But my qualms lie in my desire to be in the thick of the action. The tranquility of the countryside is unmatched. But if you -- like me and Logan -- don't want to be a farmer particularly, how do you create meaningful work for yourself without the culture & community of a thriving city to support your creative endeavors? Isn't living in or near a city or township filled with friends and likeminded folks pretty damn great? What's the point of a commune if your heart-directed work functions best in a city, and your awesome friends already live right down the street?
Of course, who knows what the future holds. Maybe in 5 years I'll have kids and want to sew their overalls by hand and tend an orchard and make goat cheese chocolate truffles out in the forest!? I'm open to that. I mean, I DEFINITELY want some goat babies some day.
But for now I live in this rad town with a ton of passionate food folks and creative, start-up food businesses. And I'm surrounded by incredible, magical people. And I can pick blueberries and raspberries right out of my front yard. That's where the berries in this cobbler ice cream came from. And I got to share it out on our front stoop with Logan and our friend Chelsea, who dropped by just to say hello and catch up. I think we ate three bowls each. Not to mention eating half of the granola-ish cobbler topping straight up out of the oven, no qualms.
Cobbler is one of the best food inventions, I think. Ice cream, too. Definitely one of the best. Cobbler is delicious topped with ice cream. Ice cream is delicious paired with any and all pie, pan dowdy, shortbread, cake... damn, EVERYTHING. So, I thought to myself, how can I make these two awesome things one awesome thing? My brain comes up with good stuff sometimes, like salted chocolate blueberry tarts and rhubarb curd coconut milk popsicles. So I figured it would come up with something, ya know? The challenge was making this ice cream dairy free and still creamy. So it's made with a coconut milk base and a traditional egg custard to give it that extra oomph so many dairy free ice creams lack. I think enhancing it with the yolks makes all the difference. It's sweetened with maple syrup and honey, too -- I prefer non crystalline sweeteners when possible, as they seem to process better in the body and I don't get the sugar crash & burn feeling. All I can say is: thanks brain! This ice cream is YES. You work real good.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup cashew halves & pieces (unsalted, raw)
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 4 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
- pinch sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, stir to thoroughly combine until you have an even texture. You want to make sure the ghee and honey are well incorporated.
- Spread the mixture evenly out over a cookie sheet or shallow baking pan.
- Bake 20 minutes, stirring and rotating half way through. The granola will be a deep, golden brown when done.
- Remove from oven and let cool at least 20 minutes.
- 2 cups full fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
- 3 free range egg yolks
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- In a double boiler or bain-marie, heat coconut milk together with maple syrup until just beginning to steam.
- Remove from heat, and whisk in egg yolks until well combined.
- Bring back to heat, and continue to cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula until a thermometer reads 170F.
- Remove from heat and pour over a cheesecloth fixed over a bowl to remove any cooked bits of yolk or white that may have formed in your custard base.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
- OR if you’re impatient (like me) you can stick your custard base in the freezer for 45 minutes to an hour to cool it quickly.
- Once cooled, pour your custard base into a blender.
- Add blueberries and raspberries and blend for 30 seconds, or until your berries are well blended and your ice cream base is thick and creamy.
- Make ice cream in your ice cream maker as directed.
- Remove the ice cream and spread it into a loaf pan to freeze for another couple of hours, until you've reached your desired set.
- To serve, top with your cobbler topping!
My recipe for this ice cream originally appeared on Relay Foods Blog! Thanks to Relay Foods for sponsoring this post!
Sidenote: Did you know there's a list of ALL THE PIES on wikipedia? Yes.