About No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream
Spring is finally here, which means strawberry season is right around the corner, so I’m celebrating the best way I know how: with homemade strawberry ice cream! And I did it without an ice cream maker. Because if you’re anything like me, I do not have the real estate on my counter to devote to (yet another) appliance.
So it’s a good thing you can still make ice cream at home that tastes just like the store bought stuff, right?
I’ve made this recipe a few times already, and far I like it just as much (if not more) than my beloved Bluebell Ice Cream – and that’s saying a lot.
But what tools do you need to make ice cream? Turns out, not a whole lot:
- A stand mixer or a hand mixer
- A container to put it in (I used a 9×5 bread pan lined with parchment paper)
- A freezer
- 6 hours to kill
Seriously, that’s all there is to it. You’ll need the ingredients too, of course, but that’s another perk – since you’re the ice cream chef, you can make it any flavor you want.
I’ve experimented with a few other ice cream flavors (more posts on those to come!) but I started with strawberry because it’s my secret obsession. Nine times out of ten you’ll see me order plain ol’ chocolate ice cream, but that’s because there’s a special ritual to enjoying strawberry. The mood needs to be just right, and a big part of that mood has to do with the time of the year.
Fall and winter? Chocolate all the way.
But the beginning of spring? Nothing but strawberry. Always strawberry.
I guess it’s the east coaster in me, but I love everything about spring – the way the sun shines as the days grow longer, the perfume of budding flowers, the absolutely gorgeous weather – not to mention all the fields of new crops and those (awesome!) farms that allow you to pick your own. When I was in Virginia, I took it for granted that I could have buckets full of fresh strawberries for just $10 and a 10 minute drive. There are some pick-your-own farms here in AZ, but you’ve got to be up for a lengthy car ride to get to them – and sometimes pay a high price for the novelty.
So for now, I just pick my fresh produce at Sprouts.
But that’s also where the other ingredients for the ice cream are, so I don’t mind too much.
Another great part about this recipe: I managed to get the balance just right so that this no churn strawberry ice cream doesn’t come out “doughy” (like some no churn recipes tend to) so that it feels more like regular ice cream. I’ve experienced the doughiness (a word?) phenomenon more with chocolate than any other flavor, but even then it doesn’t impact the taste – just the texture. I made the no churn chocolate for a four-year-old guest we had recently, and all I told her was that I made it all by myself and I hoped she liked it. She just smiled and proceeded to eat the whole bowl, without a single word or fuss about the texture. If that’s not a positive endorsement for no churn ice cream (regardless of doughiness), then I don’t know what is!
If you do have a picky texture-sensitive eater in your midst, this recipe will give you the best of both worlds: fresh & delicious ice cream that no one will know isn’t store bought. But you’ll want to make sure you tell them you made it, anyway, because why keep that a secret?
Maybe you’ll get a summer party invite out of the deal. I know I’d reinvite anyone that showed up with homemade ice cream!
So now that I’ve got the base recipe down, I’m wondering what else I could try it with. We’ve got budding orange trees in the back yard. Is orange ice cream a thing? We’re growing limes, too – what about those? Too much? And I think we’ve all seen red wine ice cream making the rounds on Pinterest… dare I try it? Could it possibly taste as good as all those pictures make it look?
No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream
- Melt butter and allow to cool while completing the following steps.
- Prepare strawberries by removing stems and hulling (cutting out the white pulp inside). Cut strawberries into small pieces, roughly 1/4 to 1/2 inch in size.
- Place 1/2 cup strawberries in a blender and pulse until smooth. Set nearby for next step.
- In a medium bowl, add the sweetened condensed milk, cooled melted butter, vanilla, pureed strawberries, and remaining 1/2 cup of cut strawberries. Add 1-2 drops of red food coloring, if desired. Mix until combined, then set aside.
- Using a stand mixer (or a hand mixer + large bowl), beat the heavy whipping cream on high speed until mixture is very thick. It should take 5-10 minutes. Tip: When the mixer begins to leave air bubbles and gaps in it's wake, the cream should be thick enough. It should stick securely to a spoon when held upside down.
- Using a spatula, gently blend the fruit mix in with the whipped cream.
- Once combined, pour the ice cream into a container of you're choosing. Cover tightly (or wrap with aluminium foil) and freeze for at least 6 hours.
- Let ice cream soften at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before serving.
* The heavy whipping cream needs to be very cold in order for it to thicken properly when mixed. Keep the cream in the refrigerator until just before use. If you're still having trouble getting the cream to thicken, try placing the bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes and try to mix again. Keep repeating this process until the cream starts to thicken properly.