A scoop of vanilla ice cream is one of the simplest indulgences that you can treat yourself to. And it is often the best, since there is never a bad time for vanilla ice cream. I enjoy it on its own, paired with a warm slice of apple tart or drowned in espresso to make an affogato. It is easy to run out to the store and pick up a pint of your favorite brand when you are in the mood for ice cream. Homemade ice cream is flavorful and delicious, but it also requires that you have an ice cream maker in your kitchen for good results – unless, of course, you’re going to make this No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream.
As the name implies, this ice cream requires no ice cream maker and no hand-churning to turn into a delicious dessert. It’s very easy to make – so easy that you might find yourself cutting back on the storebought stuff because it is just as fast to whip up a batch of this (though you will need to allow time for it to fully firm up in the freezer). The ice cream uses only three ingredients: sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream and vanilla extract. Sweetened condensed milk acts as the base of the ice cream, since it is already sweet. You can whisk in your flavoring then simply fold in whipped cream to lighten it – the air bubbles in the whipped cream mimic the way that an ice cream maker churns air into an ice cream base – and freeze until solid. I recommend using a loaf pan for freezing because it fits nicely into the freezer and it is easy to scoop out the ice cream when you are ready to serve it.
The finished ice cream is smooth, creamy and scoopable right out of the freezer. It be honest, it taste delicious even before it is frozen, though at that point it is more similar to a slightly melted mousse than to ice cream. It has a clear vanilla flavor and a hint of caramel from the sweetened condensed milk that is reminiscent of “french vanilla” flavored ice creams. Like all vanilla ice creams, it pairs well with a variety of cakes and other baked goods, and also makes great sundaes and ice cream sandwiches.
No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream
1 can (13-14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Whisk together sweetened condensed milk and vanilla in a large bowl until well-combined
Whip cream to stiff peaks in a large bowl. Stir 1/3 of the mixture into the sweetened condensed milk to lighten it, then fold in remaining whipped cream. Transfer to a freezer-safe container or loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap or an airtight lid, and freeze until firm, at least 3 to 4 hours, or overnight.