Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dairy-free Corn, Honey & Lime Ice "Cream"

Okay.  This recipe is admittedly a bit over the top, and I'm expecting a little good-natured ribbing from at least one of my two blog readers (thanks Mom & Dad!).

Mark Bittman's 7/7/12 op-ed in New York Times, "Got Milk? You Don't Need It?" finally convinced me to give dairy a break for a week.  I am an ardent ice cream fan (and have claimed to Robert, as I dish up a second scoop of Bruster's Dark Chocolate Ice Cream, that I can stop anytime I want).   What's an ice cream loving girl going dairy free to do?  Corn Honey & Lime Ice "Cream!"

We had a few ears of McConnell's Family Farm corn in our fridge left over from the weekend, and I came across a recipe for vegan Sweet Corn Ice Cream in Vegetarian Times.  Click on the link and it'll take you right there.  I, of course, swapped the agave syrup for honey, which calls into question whether this recipe is vegan now.   But this a blog about cooking with honey--and Corn & Lime Ice "Cream" is is a great dessert! It satisfies a confirmed ice cream lover's yearnings and it has the added bonus of being made with real food--not one goofy ingredient.  It's so good, I'd even recommend it to someone who isn't going dairy free!  After four hours in the freezer, it was the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.  A day later, it was very firm, yet still had a great mouth-feel.  This is NOT ice cream, so if you make it anticipating something exactly like ice cream, you may be disappointed.  But the flavor is wonderful and the texture is remarkably creamy given that there isn't a drop of cream in it.

Corn, Honey & Lime Ice "Cream"
4 cups cooked corn kernels (about four ears of corn)
1 cup cashews (I used roasted)
1/2  cup honey
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt (if needed)

In a food processor, puree 2 cups of corn with 1/2 cup cashews until finely ground.  Add one cup of water and process until relatively smooth.  Strain into a fine mesh sieve placed over a large bowl.  Process the other 2 cups of corn and 1/2 cup cashews as above.  Add another cup of water and process until smooth.  Pour in the sieve.  Press on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible and then discard the solids.  In a small bowl, combine the honey, lime zest, juice and vanilla extract and stir to combine well.  Add a few cups of the corn/cashew "juice" and blend well..  Whisk this into the rest of the corn/cashew mixture.  Taste and see if it needs salt.  Process the mixture in a ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.

Freeze for about four hours before serving.

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