If you're looking for healthy, vegan homemade ice cream bursting with tropical flavours, you've come to the right place. Today, we'll make coconut jackfruit ice cream from scratch without using sugar, cream, and not even an ice cream machine. Sounds exciting? Let's do it!
Coconut milk ice cream is one of Southeast Asia's most popular ice cream flavours, while ripe yellow jackfruit is a hyper-flavourful tropical fruit often used in Asian sweets and desserts.
In this recipe, we decided to bring the two together into one wonderfully exotic ice cream!
And the brilliant thing about using coconut milk and jackfruit for ice cream is that you basically won't need any other ingredient.
Traditional ice cream relies on high-fat heavy cream and whole milk for creaminess, plus lots of sugar for sweetness.
But because coconut milk is naturally creamy and jackfruit already tastes very sweet, you don't have to use neither whipped cream nor refined sugar to make the ice cream silky and tasty.
This means you'll also have super healthy homemade ice cream that's dairy-free, sugar-free, and vegan. And incredibly good too!
So how do you use jackfruit in ice cream?
While you can simply blend and add most fruits to your ice cream base, jackfruit is a little different.
First of all, make sure you buy ripe yellow jackfruit, not the young green fruit used for vegan mock meats.
Ripe jackfruit pods look bright yellow; they're sweet and flavourful. Jackfruit tastes like an amazing cross between mangos, bananas, and pineapples. It's really unique!
You can find yellow jackfruit fresh, frozen, or canned at your local Asian food market, big supermarkets or online.
Because jackfruit flesh is very dense and fibrous, it doesn't blend smoothly. So, it requires a little extra prep before you can use it for ice cream.
What you have to do is simmer the chopped fruit in a little water before blending it until smooth. It's pretty much like making a jam!
In fact, we used our homemade jackfruit jam as a base and added this jackfruit puree to tinned coconut milk to make the ice cream mixture. Easy!
Once the ice cream base is ready, you can either pop it into your ice cream maker or follow our simple trick to churn the jackfruit ice cream by hand.
It's super easy to do! It will just take longer than with a machine, so make sure you do this recipe when you know you'll be home all day, like on the weekend.
But your patience will be rewarded! This ice cream is utterly delicious. You'll love the rich and nutty taste of coconut combined with the intense tropical flavour of jackfruit.
And with any leftover jackfruit puree, make a spongy jackfruit loaf cake or simply have it with oatmeal or toasted bread. Yum!
- Ripe Yellow Jackfruit (fresh or canned)
- Coconut Milk
The default ingredients yield 1 litre / 1.7 pints (950g / 2 lbs) of jackfruit ice cream.
You can prepare it with or without an ice cream maker.
If you use an ice cream maker, make sure to pre-freeze the machine's bowl, preferably overnight.
If you don't have it instead, we'll explain how to churn the ice cream by hand. It's very easy but will take a little longer than the machine.
Use a freezer-safe container with a lid (or just a loaf tin and cling film), and start in the morning to have the ice cream for dinnertime, or make it at lunchtime to have it ready for the next day.
Once again, very important: make sure you're using ripe yellow jackfruit, not the young green fruit.
You can find fresh jackfruit at a local tropical fruit market.
Alternatively, you can use the canned yellow jackfruit, which should be available at large supermarkets, Asian food stores, or online.
If you're using canned yellow jackfruit, drain the fruit chunks and rinse them well to remove excess sugar.
If you're using fresh jackfruit, you need to clean and deseed the pods first. You can read how to clean and prepare jackfruit in our jackfruit jam recipe.
To use jackfruit for ice cream, you need to soften and mash the jackfruit first.
We show you how to make jackfruit mash precisely in steps 2 and 3 of this homemade jackfruit jam recipe.
But essentially, you have to simmer thinly diced jackfruit in the given water for about 20 minutes until mushy (1).
Then, blend the soft chunks into a smooth, jam-like puree and let it cool down to room temperature before using it (2).
You'll use this dense and creamy jackfruit mash instead of sugar and whipped cream in the vegan ice cream.
Ensure the canned coconut milk is at room temperature, and add it to the jackfruit puree.
Whisk well until the milk is fully incorporated and you have a smooth, creamy jackfruit ice cream base.
You now have two options depending on whether you're using an ice cream maker or not.
If you have the ice cream machine, pour the jackfruit coconut ice cream into the machine's cylinder and process the ice cream according to the manufacturer's directions.
It should take about 40 minutes for the machine to churn and freeze the ice cream. Once ready, serve it immediately or store it in a covered container in the freezer.
For those who don't have an ice cream machine instead, transfer the jackfruit ice cream into a freezer-safe container or loaf tin.
Level the ice cream with a spatula, close the lid, or wrap the container with cling film.
Then, store the container in the coldest part of your freezer and freeze the ice cream for 2 hours.
At this point, you'll need to stir the jackfruit ice cream a few times while it freezes to break the ice, as an ice cream maker would do.
So, after the first 2 hours, take the container out of the freezer and stir the ice cream thoroughly to break down the ice crystals.
Then, put it back in the freezer and freeze it for 1 hour or until the ice cream is almost firm but still soft enough to be stirred.
Repeat this step 3-5 more times: every 1 hour, take the container out of the freezer, give it one vigorous stir, and put it back in the freezer.
The stirring phase is over when the ice cream has a uniform consistency, it doesn't have too many icy lumps, and it feels like a soft serve.
You could now enjoy it right away, if you like soft ice cream, like a sundae.
If you prefer a more scoopable consistency instead, put it back in the freezer and let it freeze for at least a couple of hours or overnight.
Take the container out of the freezer 15-20 minutes before serving it to let the ice cream soften slightly, and then scoop it into cones, cups, or glasses.
Your homemade vegan jackfruit ice cream is ready!
You can sprinkle it with chopped fresh jackfruit, roasted peanuts, or crunchy granola clusters. Enjoy!
Add a handful of diced jackfruit to the ice cream base for an extra-fruity finish.