Ice cream is typically reserved for warmer months, but persimmons – winter’s bounty – make this dairy-free ice cream incredible! Vanilla bean and a little cardamom, plus caramelized sugar don’t hurt either.
I realize this recipe is coming out right near the end of persimmon season, but maybe you’re like me and you have some ugly persimmons on your countertop that you didn’t want to go to waste. If that’s the case, I have a whole list of persimmon recipes that can help you out!
But, today, we’re focusing on ice cream in January, lol. I don’t really know what spurred this idea when it did a month or so ago, but I am so damn glad that I made it happen. I’ve seen roasted strawberry and blueberry ice creams before so I had that in the back of my mind, and knew I definitely wanted the fruit to be layered into a base as opposed to blended all together.
With this coconut base, the coconut flavor it definitely noticeable, and when you first make it, you may find it not totally sweet. BUT, when you add in the sugar-roasted persimmons, I feel like it creates a really great balance between the two parts. And even as fancy as this recipe sounds, because you broil the persimmons, the longest part is really just the chilling time.
And, for those of you that don’t have ice cream makers – though they’re so convenient – I’ve included a no-churn version in the instructions! For that you’ll need a food processor (or high-powered blender, though I prefer the former).
Ingredient Substitutions + Tips
- Full-fat coconut milk – if you prefer to not have a coconut-tinged ice cream base, a soy creamer or vegan half and half will work here.
- Maple syrup – I love the flavor this adds, but agave nectar would also work here.
- Vanilla bean caviar – this is what you get when you scrape the inside of a vanilla bean pod with a knife. If you don’t have vanilla beans, sub with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; it’s not the same but it’ll work.
- Lemon juice – this is to brighten the coconut base a bit, but use the amount you prefer! Kinda gives it a gentle cheesecake flavor because of the subtle tang.
- Xanthan gum – this thickener is my FAVORITE for adding to homemade ice creams. It helps them become nice and fluffy, instead of dense, and you only need a little bit. I bought a small bag years ago, store it in the freezer, and it still works great.
- Cardamom – ground cardamom is such a nice, complimentary spice to persimmons, so I had to add it here.
- Persimmons – I used fuyu persimmons here, which had ripened A LOT on the counter so they were quite soft. But, marginally soft persimmons will work for this as well. I’ve been avoiding hachiya lately because they’re just too finicky, IMO.
- Brown sugar – you can absolutely use coconut sugar for this if you prefer. I used it in my first iteration of this recipe and it’s great. If you like desserts on the sweeter side, stick with brown sugar.
- Additions – I thought of this after I developed the recipe, but this would be great with some ginger snap cookie pieces folded in, or even between two ginger cookies. Omg, heaven.
Now, before I get to the recipe, I wanted to remind you of the giveaway for The Friendly Vegan Cookbook over on instagram. You have two more days to enter! As far as future content goes, I have another giveaway lined up for next week, plus some fun Galentine’s/Valentine’s stuff coming your way. If you don’t want to miss out, sign up for my newsletter at the end of the post. <3
- 13.5-ounce ( ml) can full-fat coconut milk
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Vanilla caviar scraped from 1/2 bean pod
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 2 cups (400 g) chopped and peeled fuyu persimmons
- 1/4 cup (40 g) brown or coconut sugar
- Preheat your broiler (will depend on your oven but mine was set to "normal") and coat a baking sheet in a thin layer of cooking oil.
- In a blender, combine coconut milk, maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla bean caviar, cardamom, salt, and xanthan gum in a blender and puree until very smooth. Place in the refrigerator to chill while you set up the persimmons.
- Place persimmons on the baking sheet, and combine with brown sugar until evenly coated. In the post you can see that some of my persimmons were very soft/mushy so there's more liquid. Either way will work. Spread persimmons in a single layer and broil for 6-9 minutes, or until they have some char on some corners.
- Remove baking sheet from broiler and transfer caramelized persimmons to a metal bowl, with whatever liquid is on the sheet. Use a potato masher to mash it into a chunky mixture (like preserves) then place the bowl in your freezer or refrigerator to chill while you set up the ice cream base.
- Ice cream maker: Now, you can either transfer the coconut mixture to an ice cream maker, and run it for 25 minutes, then layer it in a container with the persimmon mixture, alternating between the two every 1/2 cup or so. Freeze for an additional 45 to 60 minutes to harden. When you go to store it in the freezer again, make sure the next time you take it out, you allow it to defrost for 10-15 minutes to get a good scoop.
- No-churn: Transfer ice cream base to a gallon-sized zip bag, and freeze until firm. Break the ice cream slab up into chunks and place it in your food processor, process with an s-blade until creamy, then follow layering instructions from step 5.
- Full-fat coconut milk - if you prefer to not have a coconut-tinged ice cream base, a soy creamer or vegan half and half will work here.
- Maple syrup - agave nectar would also work here.
- Vanilla bean caviar - this is what you get when you scrape the inside of a vanilla bean pod with a knife. If you don't have vanilla beans, sub with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; it's not the same but it'll work.
- Lemon juice - this is to brighten the coconut base a bit, but use the amount you prefer!
- Xanthan gum - this thickener is my FAVORITE for adding to homemade ice creams. It helps them become nice and fluffy, instead of dense.