Making ice cream at home can be a production: Remember to freeze the canister for the ice cream machine, separate eggs to get the yolks, make a custard, strain the custard, cool the custard, churn the custard, then freeze. It’s definitely a satisfying process if you love to make ice cream, but occasionally, you just don’t have the time. Or maybe you don’t even own an ice cream maker.
That’s why I love no-churn ice cream. No custard, no ice cream maker, no problem. I make this ice cream in a food processor (or a stand blender in a pinch). Along with using heavy cream, of course, I also use a few ingredients that help to improve scoopability and add flavor: sweetened condensed milk, a touch of booze (if you like), and cream cheese, which contributes a welcome tang and helps to reduce ice-crystal formation. (You’re welcome.)
Thanks to the food processor, no-churn ice cream is not only easy to make, but it’s also incredibly creamy, smooth, and delicious, as all good ice cream should be. I love a great vanilla, and my no-churn vanilla is a wildly adaptable base for scads of other flavors, including pistachio chip, dark chocolate-tahini, mocha almond fudge, and more.
No-churn ice cream assembly takes all of about five minutes. As with all ice cream, though, the waiting is the hardest part: You need to let it ripen in the freezer for six hours, give or take. If you’re wondering whether I ever sneak a taste at hour five, for a melty soft-serve spoonful, the answer is yes, and I hereby grant you permission to do the same.