If you love strawberries and cream together, you’re really going to fall for this No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream. I think it’s the most strawberry-iest and the most creamiest ice-cream ever. As I was eating my cone, I had to look over at my son (who is here, again, helping with chores – I just had to brag on him a little) and exclaim, “This makes me happy!” He liked it, too, btw!! “Best ice cream ever.” was his comment.
As far as this No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream, it is absolutely delish, super easy and I’d make it again. And maybe again and again! But I do have a few reservations about no-churn ice cream in general. I’ll get to those in a beat.
About No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream:
In the meantime, this recipe is just loaded with strawberries; there are chunks of strawberry, blended strawberry and since the strawberries are roasted in the oven (it intensifies their flavor) there’s strawberry “syrup” too. I don’t think I could have gotten more strawberry in this recipe.
Flavor-wise I’d compare the flavor to the best premium ice-cream, and because this is a no-churn recipe, the cream really comes forward a bit and mixes with all those strawberries in a way that makes it taste more like “Strawberries & Cream” over just Strawberry Ice Cream. If that doesn’t make sense to you now, it will at first bite. It’s delightful. You are going to love this in a cone or in a dish.
Making No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream:
No churn ice cream is super easy to make. It’s done in two parts. Cream is whipped and then the other ingredients, the flavorings (usually mixed with condensed milk as in this recipe but sometimes other types of milk are used, evaporated, almond, coconut) folded in, then it’s frozen. Most are ready to put in the freezer with just a few minutes work. Then there is the hard part, an 8 hour or overnight wait for it to freeze.
You can use almost anything to flavor your ice-cream, which is one of the greatest things about no-churn ice cream. There are almost no limits and you can go wild – but you do have to be careful about adding anything liquid-y.
The liquid, in this case from the strawberries and juice, waters things down and turns the ice cream, well, icy. By roasting those berries with the sugar, you get a syrup which not only intensifies the flavor of the strawberry but plays better with the other ingredients. That’s going to eliminate the issue with the juices.
What’s different about No Churn Ice Cream:
I said I’d get to my reservations about no-churn ice cream in general. The first is that without the cooked custard base, and relying only on the cream and condensed milk for body and texture, the cream taste of the ice-cream comes forward. That I really don’t mind.
But with all that cream you might think the ice cream would be uber creamy, but when that cream freezes, it freezes hard. And since it isn’t churned and there are no additives to keep it soft, I like to add a touch of alcohol. It helps a bit. Use a tablespoon of an extract based on alcohol (like vanilla) or a touch of a flavored liqueur or another alcohol – I like vodka in this recipe for a more neutral taste).
The mouthfeel of no-churn ice cream IS different, and you might or might not notice that depending on how fanatical you are about ice cream. Me? I’m admittedly a little fanatical, and especially being a food blogger, so think I need to mention this. My son didn’t even notice; he just loved it as is. The hard freeze also means you have to soften the ice-cream in the fridge for about 10 to 15 minutes and there’s a window of time. Not long enough, it will be “crumbly” and too long? It gets melty, fast.
Saving Money on No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream:
But here’s where a little more angst about no-churn ice cream comes in. It’s not cheap to make. Even with my budget shopping, the condensed milk picked up at an after Christmas sale for a dollar, the whipped cream $1.99 at Aldi and the berries, totaling $2.25 ($1.49 a pound on sale) this ice cream was $5.25 and some change to make. I’m ok with that because this recipe makes about two quarts and that’s not super outrageous, especially when compared to a premium ice-cream on sale.
If you paid off the shelf prices for your ingredients, which vary by area, you could easily be close to $10.00 or more. That’s kind of a budget breaker. The bottom line as I see it is, make no churn ice cream if you love customizing and going wild with your flavors and add-ins and/or don’t want the hassle of or don’t have an ice-cream maker. Make it if you want a “better” ice-cream with fewer additives. Make it a fun project with the kids.
Do keep in mind that no churn ice-cream it isn’t necessarily going to be a cost saving even over a premium ice-cream, especially if that ice cream is on sale and the ingredients you’ve bought aren’t. In the meantime, I’ll keep experimenting ( I’ll take one for team, lol) and you can be sure I’ll report back! If you’ve tried other no-churn ice creams, or if you try this one, I’d love your opinion!
No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream
1 1⁄2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulls removed, halved or quartered depending on size
1⁄4 cup sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vodka, vanilla extract or liqueur or alcohol
1 pint whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
ice cream cones, for serving, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or foil.
Place strawberries on sheet pan, toss with sugar and bake for 25 minutes or until soft and syrupy. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until cold. When chilled, add to a food processor with condensed milk and pulse until the mixture is still chunky or smooth, your preference. Set aside.
In a large bowl, add cream, and with an electric beater, whip until soft peaks form Add in the extract and powdered sugar and briefly beat in. Do not over-whip. Add about 1/3 of the strawberry mixture and by hand, with a spatula gently stir in. Add in the remainder and continue to fold.
Place in a 9 x 5 loaf pan and spread the top smooth. Put in freezer and once firm to the touch, cover with plastic wrap or foil. Continue to freeze for a total of 8 hours or overnight.
Just before serving, remove ice cream from freezer and place in refrigerator for 10–15 minutes or until ice cream softens enough to scoop.