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No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream

No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream
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.

Serves 6

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  • Sammy Smeth
    May 30, 2014

    This is such a good idea, I’ve always shyed away from making ice cream in the past because of the sheer amount of effort needed if you don’t have an ice cream maker (which are pretty expensive!) so this is a lovely alternative I’m really excited to give it a go!

    S xo.


  • Linda
    May 30, 2014

    Does it hurt anything if you do churn it, Nicole? I just got a new churn and I want to try everything…but use the churn. HAHA Looks great. Then again…it’s ice cream season!!

  • Medeja
    May 31, 2014

    It sounds so easy to make! Too bad it is winter 😀

  • Matt T
    May 31, 2014

    Linda, it actually might. Churn whipping cream long enough, you get butter.

    Hmm. Now I kind of want to see if I put cream in an ice cream churn if I will get butter…or just very cold cream.

  • Nicole
    May 31, 2014

    Linda – Haha, this is probably the opposite of most ice cream questions that I get! No, you’ll actually still be able to churn this in an ice cream maker. It will have a fairly light texture and still be very creamy.

    Matt – Ice cream makers don’t churn fast or hard enough to turn whipped cream into butter, largely because they chill the mixture as it goes and I think it would freeze before it got to the butter stage, even if you were just churning heavy cream alone. I think you’ll end up with a cold and fairly plain ice cream that way!

  • What a great idea! I love the occasional simple recipe like this one, so I’ll have to try it sometime. Maybe spice it up with chocolate chips… 🙂

  • sudhakar
    June 1, 2014

    This is so easy. I’ve also shied away from ice cream because it was so involved but this is simple.

  • I see condensed milk being used a lot in ice creams but never actually tried it!

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