Perfect homemade vegan lemon ice cream, made extra creamy with cooked oats. This ice cream is gluten-free, made without coconut milk, and can be soy-free, too.Inspired by and adapted from Miyoko Schinner's recipe for Low-Fat Vanilla Oat Gelato in The Homemade Vegan Pantry.Yield: about 3.5 cups
Be sure to put the canister of your ice cream maker in the freezer at least one day before you plan to churn the ice cream. Also note that the ice cream mixture needs time to chill before churning (at least 2 hours), and the churned ice cream needs about 3 hours in the freezer for a firmer, scoopable consistency.
Make the ice cream:
Zest two lemons, which should provide about 2 teaspoons of zest.
In a small sauce pan, combine the oats, 1 teaspoon of zest, and 1 cup of the milk, and bring to a simmer. Stirring regularly, cook until the oats are soft, about 8 minutes. Immediately transfer to a bowl to cool.
Juice the lemons until you have ½ cup of juice (4 oz). In a blender combine the remaining 2 cups of milk and the cashews. Blend on high until smooth. Add the other teaspoon of lemon zest, lemon juice, oatmeal, sugar, and alcohol, and blend again. Add a few drops of yellow coloring, if desired. Refrigerate the ice cream mixture until cold.
Churn the mixture according the instructions for your ice cream maker. The ice cream will be similar to soft serve consistency. For a firmer, scoopable ice cream, transfer it to a freezer-safe container, and freeze for 3 to 4 hours.
Even with the addition of alcohol, once the ice cream has frozen overnight, it will be very firm straight from the freezer. Let it soften at room temperature for about 15 minutes for easier scooping.
Sweetener options:For the most pure lemon flavor, I recommend cane sugar in this recipe. Other sweeteners like maple syrup and coconut sugar will work, too, but the color and flavor of the ice cream will be affected. Taste and adjust sweetness after blending the ice cream mixture.Alcohol:Because this ice cream includes 4 ounces of fresh lemon juice and is low in fat (for ice cream), a small amount of alcohol helps maintain a creamy texture and prevents the ice cream from freezing so solidly. But more isn't always better! If you add more than 2 ounces the ice cream may not freeze properly.Curious about no churn?The consistency of this ice cream is best with an ice cream maker. If you don't have one and don't mind a slightly less smooth appearance, check out my recommendations for the no-churn method in this post.Storage:Store ice cream in an airtight container in the freezer.Once ice cream is fully frozen (overnight), it will be too hard to scoop. Let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.