A homemade ice cream recipe as delicious as it is simple
Churn-free ice cream, in case you haven’t gotten the memo, is an ice cream lover’s best friend. This is for those of us who love homemade ice cream but aren’t always up for cracking eggs, making custard, retrieving the ice cream machine, forgetting that parts of said ice cream machine needed to be frozen, finding room in the freezer for said parts. , waiting for them to freeze, only to ditch the whole adventure of eating cereal straight from the box while wallowing in ice cream deprivation-induced discomfort. I’m not trying to give ice cream making a bad name, I’m just here to introduce you to the joy of making it the easy way.
No-Churn Ice Cream uses two ingredients (if you don’t count vanilla and salt): sweetened condensed milk and heavy whipped cream. Assembly is a no-brainer (er, you mix the whipped cream into the milk), and your “ice cream machine” is literally a cold loaf pan, plus your freezer (i.e.: scrape the mixture in pan, cover and freeze). Sometimes you’ll see a recipe that also calls for a little cream cheese, but when simplicity is the name of the game, I’m all for a recipe with an epically short ingredient list (for further proof of this propensity , check out my new cookbook, Snackable Bakes: 100 easy recipes for exceptionally delicious sweets and treats).
The recipe here is for plain vanilla, as I want it to be your basic building block of no-churl ice cream, which you can add espresso powder to (for coffee ice cream lovers in the house) , pureed fruit such as strawberries, or a flavored extract such as peppermint (for epic peppermint ice cream, topped with a zesty fudge sauce, if you know what’s good for you). Churn-Free Ice Cream is like the best summer adventure: so much fun to play on a hot day, but also cool enough to check in on all year round.
No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe
Makes 1½ liters
1 can 14 ounces (397 grams) sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla paste or extract
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups (474 mL) heavy cream, cold
Step 1: Place an 8½ by 4½ inch metal loaf pan in the freezer.
2nd step: Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and salt in a large bowl. Put aside.
Step 3: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream on medium to medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.
Step 4: Gently fold the whipped cream into the milk mixture in two batches. Scrape the ice cream into the cold skillet, smooth the top and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
Step 5: Freeze for 4-6 hours, depending on how soft your ice cream is (I’m pretty soft here, in case you were wondering). If solidly frozen, let sit briefly on the counter until scoopable. Store ice cream, packaged, in the freezer for up to a week.
Jessie Sheehan is a recipe developer and author of The Vintage Baker, ice cream cakesand the new Snack pastries. His work is in the Washington Post, Enjoy your meal, Food Network, Food52and the Kitchen, among others. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.
Dina Avila is a photographer in Portland, Oregon.
Recipe tested by Ivy Manning