Most ice cream recipes call for at least a small amount of cooking. Plain milk, frozen into ice cream, gets unpleasantly icy, and it needs cornstarch or egg yolks to turn it into smooth, creamy custard. And then that cooked mix needs to be thoroughly chilled before freezing into ice cream, so if you are thinking about ice cream, you better be thinking at least a day ahead.
But this recipe bypasses all the cooking and yet it still turns very creamy and smooth. How? Sweetened condensed milk.
That's the magic ingredient in this recipe, which is widely known and adapted all over the internet. But I had never tried it, until last night. Literally an hour and a half before a dinner party, I decided to try to make this, instead of asking someone to pick up ice cream from the store. I was able to whisk it together in less than 5 minutes, and since the milk and cream were already cold, I could throw it straight into the ice cream maker. It churned up perfectly smooth and creamy, and even today, after a night in the freezer, it's still ice-free.
I stirred in Meyer lemon juice and zest to add a little bright flavor to this not-too-sweet ice cream, and it was a wonderful accompaniment to a tart, warm fruit buckle made with frozen raspberries. It was a little window into warmer weather to come!
This is definitely an ice cream recipe that is going into my permanent file; it's just as easy as whipped cream, and a lovely grace note to all sorts of desserts. And it's even quicker than that 1-ingredient ice cream, since you don't have to freeze the bananas first!
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 Meyer lemons, zested and juiced
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fine table salt
In a large bowl, vigorously whisk together the cream, milk and sweetened condensed milk until the condensed milk is fully mixed in. Add the Meyer lemon zest and juice, along with the vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Whisk to combine, then pour into your ice cream maker and process for about 30 minutes.
Pack into a 1-quart freezer container, and completely cover the surface of the ice cream with plastic wrap. Cover tightly with the lid, and freeze for at least 1 hour before serving.
• Thank you to Spork and Foon, where I first found this no-cook method!
(Images: Faith Durand)