Vegan Blackberry Ice-cream

Can it really be called ice-cream if there isn't any cream or dairy in it? Well I think so, especially given the fact there is coconut milk in this one - a sort of cream of the Gods....or at the very least a tree. Booja Booja get around this awkward question by simply calling theirs 'stuff in a tub', which makes me chuckle and then makes me want to finish a tub. By myself. When you move into a new flat and therefore a new kitchen there are always teething problems. Mine, so far, have resulted in not being able to turn the oven on and when I do not waiting until it has sufficiently pre-heated - the light turns off when it's ready, how confusing is that? This has meant some undercooked Linda McCartney sausages and some rather anemic looking 'sausage rolls' - vegans take note, they seem to be slowly converting all of the Linda McCartney range to be vegan friendly, woop woop! I'm pretty ecstatic about trialling those country pies:)

One other teething problem that has affected this otherwise flawless recipe has been my teeny weeny freezer which is built into the fridge. I've bunged various frozen goods in there since we moved in and haven't had any noticeable problems. Ice cubes where good to go and my peas seemed solid so I didn't think to check the setting - duh! I was perplexed when my ice-cream was just downright refusing to set so I had to do a bit of googling to see where I had gone wrong much as it pained me - gosh I wish I could shake the perfectionist in me.

I came across this very helpful page by the man himself, David Lebovitz and it became apparent that the problem lay with the temperature of my freezer. So I upped it to a higher setting (higher means lower in my new fridge - again, so confusing!) and et voila, frozen ice-cream. I think the slow start may have impacted it somewhat as it did have a few ice crystals but the flavour was outstanding and I think with an ice-cream maker to hand (come on amex points!) this has the potential to be one helluva scoop!

Those fresh blackberries may have helped just a bit with the full on, in yer face, lip smacking taste but I'm going to take a little credit for bringing out their loveliness. Oh, and while we're at it, I did painstakingly put the whole thing through a muslin cloth so there was not single seed in sight - now that's commitment to the ice-cream cause if ever there was one.

Lastly, feast your eyes on the blender, which was purchased for 2 quid at a car boot AND the cuter than cute pink bowls, which came in a large set including dinner and side plates all for only 3 quid! How do like them apples.....or should that be blackberries?

blackberry ice-cream (makes 8OO ml)

2 1/2 cups blackberries

1 1/2 cups unrefined granulated sugar

1 can coconut milk

1/2 vanilla pod

thoroughly wash the blackberries sorting through them to ensure there are no thorny bits etc.

Using a knife split the vanilla pod and remove the seeds.

Put all the ingredients into the blender and whizz until completely smooth. Taste for sweetness - you may want to add more sugar but this was sweet enough for me.

Strain the whole lot through a muslin cloth - remember, patience is a virtue, or so I'm told;)

Transfer to a tupperware container and freeze. You can, if you wish, periodically stir it but I personally think it creates more ice-crystals rather than lessening them. If you have an ice-cream maker you are one lucky duck and your ice-cream should be creamy smooth.

I froze mine for just over a day - let it defrost slightly before serving. Enjoy x

dessert, veganAine Carlin