dairy-free pistachio honey ice cream


I feel like I should start this post with this song. In fact, as much as I hate when websites start randomly playing music (I'm looking at you, boutique hotel sites playing clinky-classical Muzak), if I could get Y'all Ready For This, and probably a gif of Will Smith dancing, to play in the background of this post, I would. I would give up everything I believe just to make that happen.

Because this is going to be the best non-dairy ice cream you've ever had. Girl, it just might be the best ice cream you've ever had. Period.

It can't be vegan, not exactly, because the addition of honey negates that possibility. But it doesn't have a drop of dairy, nor does it need it. And if you want to go full-vegan on this one, you can swap the honey for maple syrup (if I were you, I'd add a little less, just so the maple flavor doesn't overpower), agave or just regular sugar. Whisk a little longer if you use granulated sugar, though, just to make sure it's fully dissolved.

For this recipe, you will need:

2 15-ounce cans of coconut milk (I went with one full fat, one light)
3/4 cup of honey
1 1/2 cups roasted unshelled pistachios
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot
2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder (optional)

Once you've shelled your pistachios (a painstaking task, so make sure the people enjoying the results of your labor know just how much labor was involved), add 1 cup to a food processor fitted with an S-blade. Reserve the other 1/2 cup for later. Pulse the pistachios until they've gotten as fine as possible, about 20 pulses should make this happen. From here, you can either add a 1/2-1 cup of your coconut milk directly to the food processor and blend together until creamy. But for the absolute smoothest results possible, transfer the pistachio crumbs and 1/2-1 cup of coconut milk to a high power blender. Blend until you've achieved a peanut butter-like texture. 

In a large-ish stockpot, add your coconut milk, honey, pistachio paste and vanilla. Bring this mixture to a light simmer over medium heat, whisking often to avoid burning. The heat should make these ingredients meld together pretty seamlessly, but if you notice some obvious separation, keep whisking until evenly combined.

Put a few tablespoons (two to three) of your warm mixture into a small bowl. Add your arrowroot and whisk together until completely smooth. Add this mixture back to your stockpot. Whisk together for about one minute and then remove from the heat. If you're using the matcha (mostly what it will do is give your ice cream a more traditional green-ish hue), whisk in now until fully incorporated.

Transfer your ice cream base to a large bowl and refrigerate for about 3-4 hours or overnight. Once chilled, add to your ice cream maker of choice to churn. (If you're using the KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker attachment, this will take about 15-20 minutes, give or take a few.)

Transfer again (lots of transferring in the ice cream making process, no?) to a freezer safe container, layering your remaining 1/2 cup of pistachios (which you can chop or leave whole) as you go. Put in the very back of your freezer to harden further. This will take about 4-6 hours, depending on the coldness of your freezer.

This stuff is so unbelievably spot on, I truly believe if you didn't tell people they weren't eating regular ice cream, they may not even suspect. What they will do, however, is ask you for the recipe, at which time you're going to have to come clean. At which point they may feel like this, but it's all in good fun.

If you top your scoops with a few remaining chopped pistachios and a drizzle of honey, it gets even better. Next time, I may swap out the vanilla extract for some rosewater and just go full-on baklava flavors with it. Happy scooping!

Want even more flavors?
And many more to come! Next up, vegan rocky road with Dandie's miniature vegan marshmallows!