Some of my best summer memories revolve around ice cream.
Sitting around the kitchen table, four kids with bowls full of scooped vanilla, my mom spooning homemade chocolate sauce over top. I loved how the swirls of chocolate and vanilla pooled together, putting on a show for me. Mom would have to tap me on the shoulder, saying I should start to eat the ice cream before it all melted.
A decade later, sitting on the sidewalk outside of Ben & Jerry’s in Montreal. A hot summer night spent with the best friends in the best city, eating ice cream and thinking life can’t get much better. And last summer, making it my mission to eat gelato and/or ice cream every day while on vacation in Toronto. The mission was a success, and I highly recommend it to anyone who adores ice cream like I do.
Summer is for a little indulging, after all. And, if you want to get all fancy pants about it, you can even make really good stuff at home. You just need whipping cream, a little Greek yogurt, and a can of sweetened condensed milk to get started. That’s it, that’s all.
While ice cream is synonymous with summer, in my books there’s never a bad time to eat it. When you make your own, you can customize the flavours, and you know what’s going in it. Ever read the ingredient list on a box of ice cream? Yeah, sometimes it’s not so pretty. Making ice cream at home is a surefire way to feel like a champion. And, with all of the good no-churn recipes out there, you don’t even need to invest in a fancy ice cream machine.
Making ice cream at home is also terribly easy, and once you get hooked, there’s no turning back. The basic technique is to whip some heavy cream, and beat in a mixture of sweetened condensed milk and Greek yogurt. That is the base for any flavour you want. Vanilla is just adding pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. Chocolate is sifted cocoa powder. Get creative when it comes to adding different flavour extracts or add-ins like toasted nuts, candy or fruit. I made a simple rhubarb jam and layered it through for a pretty ripple effect. You could make jam from any seasonal fruit — cherries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, oh my!
I’m not going to lie. Knowing how to make dangerously-easy no-churn ice cream at home, any time you want, is full of temptations. Maybe you’ll end up having a few scoops of it, and call it lunch. If it’s too hot to sleep, grab a spoon and tuck in. Sit outside and watch the fireflies, or if you’re lucky, catch a shooting star. Make your own memories with your own ice cream.
No-churn rhubarb ripple ice cream
Rhubarb Jam Ripple:
2 cups fresh rhubarb, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup granulated sugar (or more if you want it sweeter)
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup water
Ice Cream Base:
1/2 cup full fat plain Greek yogurt
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
2 cups whipping cream
1. Prepare the jam. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the rhubarb is broken down and jammy. If it seems too thick, you can add a little more water. Let it cool to room temperature before adding to the recipe.
2. In a large bowl (you can use your stand mixer for this) beat together the yogurt, condensed milk, vanilla and salt until no lumps remain. You want it to be very smooth. Pour into a large bowl.
3. In the (clean) bowl of a stand mixer, beat the whipping cream until it has firm peaks. Fold half of this into the vanilla base until no lumps. Slowly pour this mixture back into the whipped cream and beat on low until smooth and combined.
4. Pour 1/3 of the vanilla cream mixture into the container you wish to freeze it in. I use a loaf pan, but any larger container will do. Spread 1/3 of the rhubarb jam on top and use a knife to lightly swirl it through the vanilla. Repeat with remaining vanilla and rhubarb. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap — I usually do it about three times — and freeze for about six hours or overnight. The ice cream firms up quite a lot, so remove from the freezer about 30-45 minutes before you intend to serve it. Be sure to keep the ice cream wrapped tightly, and it will last in the freezer for up to two weeks. Makes about 6-8 servings.