TREAT TUESDAY: No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream

Again, it’s been hot, hot, hot, so again I am back with another way to beat the Southern California fall heat. But this time, I give you something so versatile that to limit it as a hot-weather item would be doing it a mass disservice. Today, and with thanks to Martha, Martha, Martha (Stewart), I’m dishing up a quick-and-easy vanilla ice cream.

This ice cream is a wonderful centerpiece dessert when served with a cookie tray and after-dinner drinks (as I have a few times before), but also serves up as a great garnish to the many pies and tarts that define the flavorful fall season. You can float it in drinks, mix it into milkshakes and smoothies, sandwich it between homemade cookies, or serve it in any other way you can think to consume vanilla ice cream. In fact, not too long ago Real Simple came up with 10 easy uses for vanilla ice cream here, so you could even incorporate today’s recipe into one of these additional ideas for an extra-special homemade treat.

As for the bourbon… yeah, probably not for the kiddos so much, so just omit when you think you will be serving to the all-ages ice cream crowd. But the alcohol in the bourbon does help with the frozen crystal smoothness during the freezing process (read, not as much of that icy-milk consistency), and the bourbon really does deepen and enhance the vanilla flavor, too.

If you want to have this tonight, better get to work lickety-split. While the prep time on this is short, you will need the proposed six hours of freezing time for it to gain proper consistency. No shortcuts around it that I’ve found, I’m afraid. Enjoy!

No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream. PHOTO CREDIT: Petrina Tinslay

No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes plus freezing

Yield: 1 1/2 quarts


  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
  • 2 cups cold heavy cream


  1. In a medium bowl, stir together condensed milk, vanilla, and Bourbon, if desired.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream on high until stiff peaks form, 3 minutes.
  3. With a rubber spatula, gently fold whipped cream into condensed milk mixture.
  4. Pour into a 4 1/2-by-8 1/2-inch loaf pan. Freeze until firm, 6 hours.

SOURCE: Everyday Food, June 2011