It’s hot as hell and ice cream is in constant rotation at every outdoor event. Actually, it’s pretty much everywhere (if you live in New York, the Mr. Softee song is unavoidable). I find it hard to go wrong with a sugar cone and a scoop of rocky road. And with so many classic, small batch and organic ice creams on the market these days you can easily find whatever flavor or variety you are craving.
However, we all know that there’s something to be said about homemade dessert. The problem is that people imagine making ice cream at home to be hard work. “I don’t have an ice cream maker! How the hell am I going to make my own butter pecan? It’s a valid question, but we at The Manual have found the answer.
Or, rather, Chef Leslie Bilderback has found the answer—in her new book No-Churn Ice Cream: Over 100 Simply Delicious No-Machine Frozen Treats. Bilderback is an extremely accomplished chef. She has been an executive chef and pastry chef at highly regarded restaurants all over California (where she is currently based); she is a Certified Master Baker; she’s a former faculty member at the California School of Culinary Arts; and she’s also an award-winning author.
In her latest book, Chef Bilderback walks you through the process of making your own ice cream, sorbet and gelato—all without an ice cream maker. The recipes range from the classic to the more complex, such as Pineapple Peppercorn and Sweet Potato Marshmallow Swirl.
Bilderback explains the history of the no-churn technique, which is “based on the classic French dessert called parfait.” The goal of her book is to get her readers to “make really good ice cream at home, repeatedly.” It’s a culinary education that leaves you with the skills to develop your own delicious stash of sweet, frozen treats.
It may be easy enough to stop and pick up a cone at your local ice cream shop or a pint at the nearest grocery story, but why do that when you can make the good stuff at home?
It’s like the old phrase, “teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”—you know, except instead of fish, here it’s a lifetime of excellent, homemade ice cream.
Vanilla Ice Cream
Makes about 1 Quart of Ice Cream
1 13 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup milk
½ vanilla bean, scraped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups heavy cream
1. In a large bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, milk, vanilla bean, vanilla extract, salt and lemon juice.
2. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until it reaches soft peak. Fold the cream gently into the milk mixture, then transfer to a shallow freezable container.
3. Cover with plastic wrap or waxed paper pressed directly on the surface of the ice cream, and place in the freezer for 6 hours.
4. Scoop and serve the finished ice cream with fresh berries, chocolate or caramel sauce, or a drizzle of Kahlua.