WARNING: This post contains information that will come perilously close to ruining your relationship with your jeans. And/or the mirror. Read at your own risk!
Anyone who knows me, knows that of all sweets, ice cream is the one I have least resistance for. Which, as it happens, does not at all mean that I’ll eat any sort of bad ice cream whenever. Oh no. The above only applies to exceptionally good, ice-cream-shop ice cream, or at the very least something like Häagen-Dazs. Or, preferably, the homemade stuff.
Because really, if we could make ice cream at home without an ice-cream maker (some of us who have tiny kitchens can’t own every kitchen gadget we want because of space issues if nothing else!), of course we’d make it as amazing as we want it to be, and without anything questionable of remotely icky on the horizon.
I have made no-churn ice creams with fresh or frozen fruit before, and they turned out amazing – but when I came across this recipe, I simply had to try it. Because it was promised that it would deliver (and boy, did it!) an even creamier version without any, any iciness at all! And don’t color me boring, but I love vanilla ice cream. By that, I don’t mean the plain oversugared white stuff you can find in any supermarket, no – I mean the heavily vanilla-perfumed rich and creamy vanilla ice cream that vanilla fanatics (like me) seek like the holy grail.
Personally, I think it’s sad that the word “vanilla” has come to signify in common slang something boring and uninventive. I blame the aforementioned tasteless concoctions labeled “vanilla” that line the supermarket shelves, and the cheapening of this queen of flavors that inevitably followed – but I digress as usual, and this is a story for another time (yes, that other time is being planned… just need to take photos!).
Back to ice cream. This ice cream is by no conceivable definition boring, unless you hate vanilla and/or ice cream with a passion (in which case I am not sure why you are reading this post). It is lush, it is incredibly creamy and full of that rich, perfumey goodness that we expect of vanilla ice cream. And best of all, it is very, very easy to make!
Now, like the original writer of the recipe, I cheat. I use more than 2 ingredients, because while I imagine this ice cream would taste wonderful even without it, I have added real vanilla extract to it. Why? Because of all the above and how I adore vanilla. And because I have real vanilla extract at home, made by yours truly (like I said, vanilla talk another day), and so I could.
So, what do you need for this? (Makes just under 2L of ice cream.)
- 2 plastic buckets or freezer-safe boxes that will hold a bit over 1L each.
- Freezer that goes to -12C or below (Two-star or preferably more rated). I am serious here. Mine goes to -24C and that is how high I crank it, but those little (one-star) iceboxes in some fridges that don’t really freeze food solid won’t work.
- Mixer. I would not try this with a hand whisk although I have a friend who is scary with that thing and can whip cream or egg whites or whatever you want by hand. I am not so gifted or exercised!
- 0.5L (5dl) heavy whipping cream (I used 36% one because that is what I had in the fridge, but I imagine 40% will work even better.)
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk (397g one which is apparently standard … who the heck came up with that amount?!)
- 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract (and some seeds out of the vanilla pod if you want those black specks in your ice cream)
Method: (This takes approximately 5 minutes. After which there is a freezing period but really, you can just go to sleep like I did and wake up to ice cream!)
- Put your cream in a bowl (add vanilla seeds now if using), and whip it to soft peak stage.
- Add vanilla extract and whip to stiff peak stage.
- Add condensed milk and whip to combine. Mixture will be somewhat softer than stiff-peaks but that is ok.
- Pour into your boxes and freeze overnight.
Serve. If your freezer is a mean machine like mine, take the ice cream out for a few minutes before scooping, but to be honest, with a bit of arm power, I managed to scoop this even straight from the freezer – it does not go icy and it does not go terribly solid either. It is creamy and gorgeous and, for all of you vanilla freaks, incredibly vanilla-satisfactory. So much, in fact, that even I tend to have a little and then feel it is enough.
Like the original author says, this is very versatile. Next time I will make my salted caramel sauce and swirl it into a semi-frozen mixture. Or mix in some smashed cookies like she did. Or… the imagination is the limit, I suspect, and I really do think that adding some chocolate to the whipping cream would work wonders as well.
Now that I have this recipe, the ice cream is always, always within my reach… my jeans may think this is not such a great idea. I may have to, you know, compromise with them and feed most of the ice cream to skinny Scandinavian friends. Yesss… ;)
P.S. While I make none, zero, nada claims regarding the health value of this (it has none except for those who really need to gain weight, and maybe not even then), it does have some virtues which are hard to come by in shop-bought ice cream: It has zero food additives, stabilizers, colors or artificial flavors. It contains no eggs at all, and so is suitable for egg allergy sufferers and vegetarians who avoid eggs. And well… if you count your mental health, it does have a health benefit. Like, you know, keeping you from throwing objects or crying when you have PMS. For that, it works wonders, even in small doses. (Yes, I’ve tried it for that.) Oh and – for this sort of quality, it’s also really inexpensive to make, so it makes your wallet – and you – happier. Beat that!