If you’re like me, there’s no bad time of year to eat ice cream. Whether it’s a hot summer afternoon or a lazy evening in the dead of winter, a bowl of ice cream always hits the spot.
But those pint prices can add up. And if you’re vegan, finding dairy-free vegan ice cream is even more of a challenge. Unless you make my Vegan Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream, that is. Making your own chilly treat means your favorite flavor — yes, ice cream can be added to my list of favorite pumpkin recipes — is always in stock. You’ll get added health benefits, too; try that with the store-bought brands!
I love the pumpkin pie flavor in this. It’s terrific during prime pumpkin time in fall and winter, but it’s delicious year-round. You might be surprised that the base of this treat is actually butternut squash and apples! An ice cream packed with fiber, vitamins and antioxidants? Yes, please. Add in that delicious, nutritious coconut milk and some metabolism-boosting spices, and you’ve got a truly guilt-free dessert.
Move over, Ben and Jerry. It’s time to try your hand at making this Vegan Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream.Start by cranking the oven up to 425 F and lining a cookie sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup and no sticking. Sprinkle the diced squash with sea salt and spread onto the parchment paper.
Once the oven’s ready, slide the cookie sheet in. While the squash bakes, let’s go ahead and prepare our coconut-caramel syrup.In a small pot, heat half a can of creamy coconut milk over medium-high heat. When it’s nice and hot, add the coconut sugar. Let the coconut goodness simmer for 6–8 minutes. Remove the syrup pot from the heat and stir in the vanilla. How good does this smell? This will add a ton of flavor to our ice cream later.
Remove the baking sheet with the squash from the oven, add the sliced apples onto it and slide the sheet back into the oven. Bake ’em all up for another 20 minutes, then remove and let them cool for 5–10 minutes.Now comes the fun part. Using a high-powered blender, add the rest of the coconut milk, the coconut syrup you made earlier, squash, apples, spices and the whiskey/bourbon. Puree all the ingredients until they’re well blended and nice and thick. No one can accuse this Vegan Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream of not having any flavor.
A quick note about the whiskey/bourbon: I wouldn’t skip this step unless it’s absolutely necessary. Two tablespoons is a minimal-enough amount where you won’t wind up with “boozy” ice cream, but it imparts a ton of taste and keeps the ice cream from freezing too hard; no one wants to eat their ice cream with an ice pick! Unflavored whiskey and bourbon also qualify as gluten-free alcohol.Time for the final step: refrigerate the mix for at least three hours or overnight. When it’s totally chilled, churn it all up in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
No ice cream maker? No problem. Just be sure to whisk the ice cream really well before freezing, as air is an important ingredient in ice cream (weird, huh?). And no matter how you make it, let the ice cream thaw for 5–10 minutes before serving, as coconut ice creams freeze really hard — don’t break a spoon!
There you have it! Super creamy, Vegan Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream. Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy.
60 minutes, plus chilling and churning time
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cans full fat coconut milk, divided
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 sweet-tart apple, cored and sliced thick
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tablespoons whiskey or bourbon
- Heat the oven to 425 F.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spread the squash evenly on the parchment.
- Sprinkle the squash with the salt and bake for 30 minutes. Make the coconut-caramel syrup while the squash is baking.
- In a small pot, heat 1/2 can of coconut milk over medium-high heat. When hot, add the coconut sugar and simmer at medium heat for 6–8 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the vanilla, stir and set aside.
- Remove the squash from the oven. Add the apples to the pan and bake 20 minutes more
- Remove the squash and apple from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- In a high-powered blender, combine the remaining can of coconut milk, coconut-caramel syrup, squash, apples, spices and whiskey/bourbon. Puree on high until thoroughly blended and thick.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container at least 3 hours or overnight. When completely chilled, churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.