The trouble with hot days like this is that all the really *easy* desserts involve dairy. So if you have someone visiting who can’t eat dairy, then you have a problem. In the hope of solving this problem, I recently bought The Vegan Scoop, an entire recipe book devoted to dairy- and egg-free ice-creams. There are some beautiful flavour ideas in there, but there’s just one little difficulty – all the recipes rely on soy creamer, which is relatively hard to get in Australia. Also, I really don’t like the taste of soy. Fortunately, almond milk and oat milk make lovely soymilk substitutes, and there’s always that standby, coconut cream, to provide that little extra bit of fat that makes ice-cream properly creamy.
The rhubarb crumble flavour was pretty much a matter of what I had on hand. I’d made a sort of oat, almond and coconut granola to go with my breakfasts this week, and I’d roasted a lot of rhubarb to make Foolish Mess, so bringing the two together in an ice-cream was irresistible. Also, I figured that the oat, almond and coconut flavours of the crumble would bring out the subtle flavours of these ingredients in the milk – and that way I could pretend I planned it all along!
The results are very pleasing, if I say so myself – rhubarb flavoured ice-cream with bits of chewy, slightly crunchy, sweet almond and coconut and oats throughout. In fact, it tastes exactly like frozen rhubarb crumble, which is a little strange, actually. Weirdly wholesome for an ice-cream. Which does allow you to pretend it’s healthy, of course…
Your shopping list500 g rhubarb 75 g vanilla sugar 2 tbsp honey or agave nectar or maple syrup 50 g rolled oats 50 g flaked almonds 25 g shredded or flaked coconut 1 1/2 cups almond milk 2 tbsp tapioca or arrowroot powder 1 cup oat milk 1/2 cup coconut cream 150 g sugar
Now what will you do with it?
Start by preparing the rhubarb. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C, and chop the rhubarb into thumb lengths. Put the rhubarb in a baking tray with the vanilla sugar and toss to combine.
Cover the tray with foil, and bake for 45 minutes, or until the rhubarb is soft but holding together.
Let cool, then blend until fairly smooth.
While the rhubarb is baking, make your crumble. In a small frypan, combine the honey or agave, oats, coconut and flaked almonds.
Cook over a gentle heat, stirring often, until everything is golden. Place a piece of baking paper on a cooling rack, and pour out the crumble mixture over the paper. Let cool, and store in an airtight container until needed, if you don’t plan to use it the same day you made it.
In a large bowl, combine the tapioca flour with 1/4 cup of the almond milk. Put all the remaining ingredients in a saucepan with the blended rhubarb, and bring very slowly to the boil.
When the mixture reaches the boil, ladle a little of it into the bowl with the tapioca flour, swish it around, and return it to the saucepan. Switch off the heat and whisk until everything is combined. It will start to thicken – not immediately, but noticeably, after about a minute.
Pour back into the bowl and refrigerate until completely cold.
Churn the cold mixture in your ice-cream maker until it starts to look like ice cream. Crumble a couple of handfuls of the crumble mixture in your hands, and stir in for about a minute at the end.
Scrape into a suitable container, adding a layer of crumble mixture halfway through.
Chill the ice-cream in your freezer for a couple more hours until firm.
Serve in a waffle basket with berries, or in a bowl with more of the crumble mixture scattered over the top.
This recipe is vegan, and also low in fructose (yay!). As ice-creams go, it isn’t too bad on the glycemic index, either, what with all that oat milk! It is not nut-free, but can be made so by replacing the almond milk with more oat milk or with soy milk, and making the crumble oats and coconut only. It is also only gluten-free if you have managed to find gluten-free oat milk and gluten-free oats; again, swap out the oat milk for almond milk, and swap the rolled oats for rolled quinoa and you will be sorted.
In terms of flavour, any stewed or baked fruit would work in place of the rhubarb, so go wild! You could also spice this up with cinnamon or nutmeg or cloves, depending which fruit you chose.
Two years ago: Menu notes for the next few days