Friday, August 19, 2011

Vegan Spumoni Ice Cream: Cherries, Pistachios and Chocolate Chips! Oh, My!

A quick little post for a busy week with a fun vegan Spumoni Ice Cream from Veg News magazine. I have only had real spumoni ice cream once, at an Italian restaurant on a high school trip to New York. I remember the layers being pretty but not liking the taste all that much. But, tastes do change, and the combination of the cherry ice cream with the toasted pistachios and vegan mini chocolate chips sounded good--plus, I love experimenting with non-dairy ice creams, so I decided to give it a try.

Veg News says, "Rather than laboriously churning each individual component of the traditional chocolate-cherry-pistachio trifecta, this rendition keeps things sweet and simple, A cherry base packed with dark chocolate chips and toasted pistachios more than makes up for the lack of distinct, colorful stripes."

Vegan Spumoni Ice Cream
Veg News Magazine, August 2011
(Makes 1 Quart)

1 cup full-fat coconut milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsps cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
12 oz (3/4 lb) pitted sweet cherries, fresh or frozen and thawed, divided
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/3 cup roasted, unsalted shelled pistachios, chopped
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together coconut milk, sugar, cornstarch, and salt, beating the mixture vigorously to ensure that there are no residual lumps of starch. Allow the mixture to cook, whisking occasionally, until it reaches a gentle boil and significantly thickens in consistency. Remove from heat, and let cool for at least 15 minutes before proceeding.

In a blender or food processor, place 8 ounces (1/2 lb) cherries. Add coconut milk mixture and puree until smooth. Add in the vanilla and almond extract, and pulse to incorporate. Transfer the cherry base into a bowl or pitcher, and chill in your refrigerator for at least 2 hours before churning. Roughly chop the remaining cherries, and set aside.

Process chilled base in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions, adding the chopped cherries, pistachios, and chocolate chips in the last 5 minutes. Transfer ice cream to an air-tight container. Place in freezer for at least 3 hours or until solid enough to scoop before serving.

Creamy, sweet and good. The cherry base is subtle, but that makes the flavors of the chunks of cherry, pistachio and chocolate stand out. The full-fat coconut milk keeps it creamy and it would be hard to identify it as non-dairy if you didn't know. My only real complaint is that the ice cream in the picture in the magazine was a gorgeous deep, dark violet shade and mine turned out more of a creamy, paler strawberry pink. I am not sure how they got their color so bright--I even weighed out my cherries to make sure I had the right amount. Oh well, the flavor makes up for it. ;-) I would make this one again.

Happy Aloha Friday!


  1. I may be an Italian somewhere in my body but I have to admit I've never been a big spumoni fan. With coconut milk as a base, however, I could be persuaded...looks delicious!

  2. (because food stylists and photoshop are a food magazines best friends sometimes...). I think yours looks amazing and I love cherries and pistachios, I think I'd adore this!

  3. I've been wanting to try my hand at making ice cream with coconut milk. I know it has to be fantastic. I know I'd love all the flavors in this one.

    I get just as frustrated when my recipes don't turn out as pictured in the book. It doesn't happen often, but you can always tell when a picture has been doctored. Why do they do that? Drives me nuts! Either way your ice cream is a gorgeous color:)

  4. This ice cream sounds amazing prepared with coconut milk, and the combination of chunks of cherry, pistachio and chocolate must be fantastic!

  5. Spumoni is one of those flavors that I never think to make though I love it. This looks great!


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