vegan rosewater pistachio ice cream


Alright, this is officially the most daring ice cream flavor I've tried to date. Floral stuff can be tricky. Too little and you're like okay, what is this, too much and you're wondering who accidentally spilled their perfume in the bowl. It's a seriously fine line between just enough and way too much, so I tasted it carefully as I went, held back just a little and came out with something pretty amazing (at least I think so).

This is definitely not dessert in the standard sense. It's a little lighter and a lot less peanut butter covered in chocolate. It's less obvious, I guess, so it's not for everyone. But it's definitely worth a try. If you're feeling iffy about it, you could always half the recipe until you're sure it's good to you (trust me, it's goooood).

For this recipe you'll need:

2 15-ounce cans organic coconut milk (Full fat is best!)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons rosewater**
1 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot
1 cup toasted pistachios, shelled and chopped
1-2 tablespoons beet juice, for color (optional)***

**Rosewater will definitely be easy to find in a specialty store like a Middle Eastern market, but then the trick becomes tracking down your local Middle Eastern market. If you don't have one nearby, Whole Foods might have you covered: check in the aisle with the maple syrups and molasses.

***Totally just an added bonus, but this gives the ice cream its beautiful and somewhat-expected pale pink color. If you can't find beet juice or don't own a juicer, you could spring for some pomegranate juice or just leave the color as is. It's all about the flavor anyway, right? 

In a medium stockpot, add your coconut milk, vanilla sugar and rosewater. I added the rosewater in 1/2 tablespoon increments just to make sure it wasn't too much. You can do that do if you'd like to decide if you'd prefer less or more, but I think three is the sweet spot. Bring this mixture to a light simmer over medium heat, whisking vigorously to make sure the sugar is dissolved and everything is evenly incorporated.

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 the arrowroot mixture back to your base. Whisk together for about one minute more (add your beet juice here if you're using it) and bring back to a simmer. Remove from heat.

Transfer your ice cream base to a large bowl and refrigerate for about 3-4 hours or up to overnight. Once completely chilled, it's time to churn: add to your ice cream maker of choice and follow the given instructions for your appliance. (If you're using the KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker attachment, like me, the churning will take about 15-20 minutes on a medium speed.)

Transfer your ice cream to a freezer safe container (layering the pistachios in between) and move your container to the very back of your freezer to harden completely. This should take about 4-6 hours, depending on the coldness of your freezer.

This is definitely the girly girl of ice creams. I feel like maybe that role was once reserved for strawberry or something else traditionally pink, but this one is officially the new kid in town, the one with a little mystery and a little hint of life experience. It might seem crazy to invent a personality for a frozen dessert, but give it a taste and let me know if that doesn't sound spot on to you.

Let me know what you think!

Looking for some other ways to sweeten the deal?