NO-CHURN COCONUT VANILLA SAFFRON ICE-CREAM with pistachio crumble | recipe


I will unabashedly admit that this recipe was a complete experiment that just happened to turn out really, and I mean really, well. Fed up with pretty much all plant based ice creams on the market that were either full of gums, sugars or modified ingredients I had concluded that the only way I was going to satisfy my want for a creamy, rich, whole-foods and non-processed ice-cream would be to make my own. But I don't have an ice-cream maker and I don't have the space or means to purchase one. So what to do? I googled no-churn ice creams and the results where all dairy based but insightful non the less. In most cases to make no churn ice-cream you boil down cream and sugar and whatever else you are adding and then patiently hand churn your ice-cream between freezing sessions. So I looked into my own pantry and thought what the heck, I've got coconut milk, natures very own heavy cream, let's experiment. And it worked. So well. 

What I love about this new found ice cream making is that the flavors are now endless! I got a little crazy with the saffron here and it's completely unnecessary -- I just like the color mostly. I plan to try this out with many more additions like pecans and date caramel, maybe some cookie dough? I encourage you to make up your own flavors using this template and please share them with me xx

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1 asian pear

1 tbs coconut or brown sugar

1/4 cup pistachios, un-shelled and coarsely chopped 

For the ice-cream

2 cans full fat coconut milk

1 vanilla bean pod

1/4 cup granulated sugar or coconut sugar

pinch of saffron (optional)


  1. Bring the coconut milk to boil in a small pot or saucepan. Immediately reduce heat to medium-low once it has boiled and stir. 
  2. Add sugar, scraped vanilla beans and vanilla pod and a few saffron strands. 
  3. Once the sugar has dissolved, reduce to low heat and simmer for 1 to 1 and a half hours, stirring regularly to avoid a skin forming on the surface and burning along the bottom of the pot. 
  4. Turn off heat and let cool until the pot is no longer hot to the touch. Again, stirring regularly. Then transfer the cream to a metal bowl and cover with plastic wrap along the surface of the liquid in order to prevent a skin forming and let cool completely. 
  5. With a hand mixer or whisk, whip the coconut cream to soft peaks and then place the bowl in the freezer for 1 hour. After the time is up, whip it again, breaking up any ice crystals that may have formed. Repeat this -- freezing and whipping -- until your ice cream is too firm to whip. For me that took 6 hours of freezing. DO NOT forget your ice-cream or it will become slushy and crunchy with ice, and you will be sad. Defrost for 5 minutes before scooping and serving.
  6. For the topping just crush or chop your pistachios with a knife and toast them in a large pan for about 7 minutes, tossing them with sugar at the very end for less than a minute as to not burn the sugar but allow just a little caramelization. 
  7. For the pears cut them in half and grill them for 10 minutes on a grill pan, letting the natural sugars cook and do all the sweetening. You could also bake them face up on a baking tray at 400 degree Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes. 

Servings: about 4 Prep Time: 5 minutes Over-all Time: 6-8 hours