Day Before: Set the ice cream maker bowl in the freezer.
Open one can of coconut milk. Split the vanilla bean in half. Run the tip of a paring knife up and down the inside of each pod half to collect the tiny black seeds and scrape them into the coconut milk.
Combine both cans coconut milk, corn syrup, vanilla extract, and salt in the jug of a blender. Process for 30 seconds, or until smooth. Scrape into a batter bowl or 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
Next Day: Pour chilled mixture into ice cream maker bowl and process, following manufacturer’s instructions, for about 20 minutes, or until thick and creamy.
Scoop immediately and enjoy as soft ice cream. You can add flavorings such as 1 ⁄ 4 cup halved cherries; 1 ⁄ 2 cup semisweet chocolate chips; or 1 ⁄ 4 cup chopped fresh peaches.
Transfer to a loaf pan (8 1 ⁄ 2 by 4 1 ⁄ 2 inches) or freezer proof container, cover tightly, and freeze for 4 to 5 hours, or until firm. Set out at room temperature for 20 minutes to soften before using. Keep in the freezer for up to 3 days.
YOU’VE GOT OPTIONS
A real vanilla pod is the ingredient that takes this ice cream from ordinary to French. Look for vanilla pods in specialty stores or in the baking ingredients aisle of your supermarket. Because they are expensive, don’t throw away the pod halves once you have scraped out the seeds. Instead, break them into 1- to 2-inch pieces and add to your sugar canister to impart a slight vanilla flavor.
If you don’t have a vanilla pod but have the urge for vanilla ice cream, increase the amount of pure vanilla extract to 2 tablespoons.
Makes 4 To 6 Servings
2 (13.5-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk
1 fresh vanilla pod (see options)
2 ⁄ 3 cup corn syrup or pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon kosher salt or coarsely ground sea salt
From "The Reducetarian Solution: How The Surprisingly Simple Act of Reducing The Amount of Meat in Your Diet Can Transform Your Health and The Planet" edited by Brian Kateman (Penguin Random House). Recipe developed by Pat Crocker. Photo by Ashleigh Amoroso.