After coffee, butterscotch is one of my favorite ice cream flavors. In fact, one of my favorite restaurant desserts of all time is a butterscotch pudding I had at Tilth here in Seattle. It was so divine that the two of us splitting it just had to order another. To me, butterscotch captures the toasty warmth and golden hue of late afternoon sun.
Traditional butterscotch is made by heating brown sugar and butter together until nicely caramelized. My recent kitchen experiments with brown rice syrup, which has its own malted flavor, prompted me to see if it could stand as a non-dairy version of said ice cream with a little help from my grown-up friend, Scotch. Brown rice syrup is a sweetener made up of glucose molecule chains of varying lengths, so it takes the body longer to process it than pure glucose and consequently provides a less steep spike in blood sugar levels. Additionally for those who do not tolerate fructose well as is found in fruits, cane sugars, maple syrup, and agave, this syrup can be a good substitute. Scotch helps round out the toasty flavor and fortunately through its distillation process, eliminates the gluten from its original grainy mash.
The syrup and alcohol in this recipe help to make this ice cream freeze in a softer, instantly scoopable form. I chose a single malt scotch but you can use whatever scotch you like best. This makes 3-4 servings if you feel like sharing.
DAIRY-FREE BUTTERSCOTCH COCONUT MILK ICE CREAM
- 1 15oz. can regular coconut milk
- 1/3-1/2 cup brown rice syrup (or loosely packed brown sugar)
- 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp reserved of scotch
- 1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
- ice cream maker
- small saucepan
- Put 1/3 cup scotch in a small saucepan. Simmer until the liquid has been reduced to half its volume.
- Add the brown rice syrup to the pan. Stir until dissolved.
- Remove the mixture from the heat. Pour in the coconut milk and vanilla. Stir until well mixed.
- Refrigerate the mixture until it is room temp or cooler.
- Just before pouring into the ice cream maker, add in 1 tbsp of scotch.
- Follow your ice cream maker’s instructions.
For a fun variation try using closer to 1/3 cup sweetener and then adding a few tablespoons of brown sugar when your ice cream is a few minutes from being done.