Keep it simple, stupid, with these no-churn mint chocolate chip and blackberry ice creams

 

Ask almost any of my family or friends about their favorite dessert and they’ll cite ice cream as the top contender.

Not me, though. I’ve always gone for brownies or cake first.

But lately — and I am convinced it’s the undue influence of my sister and niece — I’ve been craving ice cream. In fact, I’ve probably had more ice cream in the past month than I ate all of last year. I wish I could say it’s because a recent study says ice cream for breakfast might improve mental performance, but no, it’s really just a reignited passion for the creamy frozen dessert.

In the midst of all these cravings, I borrowed a book from the library called “No-churn Ice Cream” by Leslie Bilderback. I first became obsessed with no-churn ice cream last year when I stumbled across Nigella Lawson’s recipe and decided it would pair perfectly with the espresso macarons for a co-worker’s birthday. I wouldn’t let the absence of an ice cream machine hold me back.

The recipe was incredibly simple. And the result tasted amazing. To this day, it’s one of my favorite desserts.

But I had difficulty replicating the taste and texture I wanted with other flavors. So now, a year later, I turned to the cookbook for some help and inspiration. (My recipes are modified slightly from the originals.)

As soon as I flipped open to the mint chocolate chip recipe, I knew I had to make it. I really wanted to try a version with orange zest, but my sister wasn’t into it. Instead, I opted to cut the recipe in half and try my hand at a fruity flavor, too. I originally planned raspberry but found blackberries on sale at the store. It was the better choice anyway.

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It’s been three days and the mint chocolate chip ice cream bowl is about two scoops away from being empty and the blackberry chocolate chip isn’t far behind. They’re that good. Even my habitually picky niece and nephew enjoyed them, which is saying a whole heckuva lot.

I’ll admit making ice cream at home is not the most cost-effective option unless you are making gigantic batches. But it’s so simple — you can make any flavor easily and in no time at all. And knowing what’s in my food is always a bonus.

So don’t feel intimidated by the thought of conquering the ice cream world without a machine. You’ll love these recipes — and you can thank me later for them!

lbt

P.S. I’d recommend sandwiching either ice cream between this delectable double chocolate chip cookie recipe from Food Network.


NO-CHURN CHOCOLATE CHIP ICE CREAM

Makes about a quart

IMG_8491.JPG

Ingredients 

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup mint leaves

6.5 oz sweetened condensed milk (half a can)

1 cup heavy cream

1 tsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips

 

Directions

1. Wash and pat dry the mint leaves, then chop them finely.

2. Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and add the mint. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.

3. Whip the heavy cream until it forms soft peaks.

4. Strain the mint leaves from the milk. Pour into a separate bowl, then add the sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and salt. Stir until all ingredients are incorporated into a smooth mixture.

5. Gently fold the whipped cream into the milk mixture until combined in a smooth batter.  (Optional: Add green food dye to color the ice cream. I prefer to go au natural.)

6. Crush the chocolate chips into smaller pieces then gently fold them into the ice cream base.

7. Freeze at least six hours or until firm.

Fun idea: Add a little bit of your favorite créme de menthe-flavored liquor to the mix. It not only adds another dimension, it keeps the ice cream from crystallizing.


NO-CHURN BLACKBERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP ICE CREAM

Makes about 1 quart

icecream-0195Ingredients

1/2 cup milk

6.5 oz sweetened condensed milk (half a can)

1 cup heavy cream

1 tsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1 container or 6 oz blackberries

1 tbsp orange zest

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 cup of sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp of corn starch

Directions

1. Wash and pat dry the blackberries, then add them with the sugar, orange zest, 1 tsp lemon juice and vanilla to a medium sauce pan. Cook over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves, forming extra liquid, and the blackberries are soft enough to easily break up into smaller pieces.

2. Place the corn starch in a small bowl. Add some of the juice, still hot, from the blackberries to the corn starch and stir until it dissolves, forming a runny paste. Add the mixture back into the saucepan and stir until incorporated.

3. Cook the blackberry mixture for a couple of minutes, then remove from heat. Let stand until it cools completely and forms a thick jam.

4. In a medium bowl, mix the sweetened condensed milk, milk, salt and 1 tbsp lemon juice together until fully combined.

5. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until it forms soft peaks.

6. Gently fold the whipped cream into the milk mixture until combined in a smooth batter.

7. Crush the chocolate chips into smaller pieces then fold them into the ice cream base.

8. Add the blackberry jam to the mixture in three sections then fold it in carefully so as not to dilute the jam. Ideally, you want to create pockets of jam throughout the mixture.

9. Freeze at least six hours or until firm.

* Photographs by Samantha Markey Photography.

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