No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream – It’s Not Complicated Recipes

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Video Ice cream with eggs

You will enjoy the freshness and smooth, creamy texture of my classic No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream. There is something special about homemade ice cream; it tastes so much better than store bought varieties and it is very easy to make.

round white bowl of ice cream topped with strawberries, cone with ice cream and a bowl of strawberries on the edge.

Jump to:

  • Why we love this recipe:
  • Ingredients in this recipe:
  • Step by step instructions:
  • Tips for success and FAQs:
  • How to store the egg whites:
  • Serving suggestions:
  • No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream

Why we love this recipe:

Whilst I’m yet to meet an ice cream that I don’t like, there is a special place in my heart for Vanilla Ice Cream. For a start, it is a great accompaniment to many desserts or can be topped with sauces such as my Easy Blueberry Sauce or Easy Strawberry Sauce.

As well, you will have the satisfaction of knowing exactly what it contains. When it comes to store bought, there are many additives which help preserve the ice cream and keep its creamy texture. If you’re like me, you will prefer to consume ice cream with natural ingredients. This ice cream is also naturally gluten-free.

This ice cream has a custard base, which means, it contains egg yolks and they are important for several reasons. They help to thicken the ice cream as well as giving it a rich, creamy, silky-smooth texture. In addition, they help prevent ice crystals forming which is why there is no need to churn this mixture. As well, they contain natural emulsifiers, mainly lecithin, which bind fat and water together in a creamy emulsion.

I love the convenience of this recipe which contains just 4 ingredients and does not require an ice cream maker. There is nothing lacking in the texture which is deliciously smooth and creamy.

My No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream is a versatile recipe. Whilst it is delicious as it is, it lends itself to being customised giving you endless flavour options. You could add crushed Oreos, chocolate chips, crushed candy canes or swirl through some caramel or chocolate sauce. As well, consider the addition of spice, such as ground cinnamon or nutmeg.

Ingredients in this recipe:

ingredients in this recipe on a white background.

Please see the recipe card further along in the post for exact quantities of ingredients and the full method.

Egg yolks – the egg yolks add richness and provide a smooth, creamy texture.

Caster/superfine sugar – I use this sugar as it dissolves more readily than granulated sugar.

Whipping cream – we have used heavy/whipping cream which contains 35% milk fat.

Vanilla bean paste/vanilla extract – I like to use vanilla bean paste as it includes the seeds of the vanilla bean pod. Alternatively, you can use good quality vanilla extract; just ensure that it is naturally produced from the vanilla bean and not synthetically flavoured.

Step by step instructions:

the first four steps in this recipe - combining the ingredients in a bowl, whisking them, adding in the hot cream, and stirring on the stove.

To begin, I place an airtight container, which will contain the ice cream, into the freezer to chill.

Then, prepare a double boiler by having a saucepan with lightly simmering water which will hold a heatproof bowl.

I pour the cream into a heavy based saucepan, place it over a medium heat and heat until it is just below boiling point.

Meanwhile, combine egg yolks and caster/superfine sugar in the heatproof bowl. Using a whisk or hand-held electric beaters, whisk them together until they are light, fluffy and lemon-coloured.

Slowly pour the near-boiling cream onto the yolk and sugar mixture, whisking vigorously. Do not pour too quickly, you need to temper the eggs.

When all the cream has been added, place the bowl over the saucepan of barely simmering water on the lowest possible heat. Stir with a wooden spoon in a figure of 8 until the custard begins to thicken. Don’t be tempted to speed up the process by using high heat. You may end up with scrambled eggs.

The custard is ready when it lightly coats the back of a wooden spoon. To test, run your finger along the back of the spoon – if it leaves a clear trace the custard is ready.

Strain the custard through a fine sieve into a clean bowl and leave to cool, stirring occasionally so that a skin doesn’t form.

When the custard is cool, flavour with vanilla paste or extract to taste. It is important to over-flavour as the ice cream will lose flavour once frozen.

Pour the ice cream into the chilled container and place in the freezer.

Remove from the freezer and for the next three hours, stir the mixture with a fork every half hour until the mixture is almost set.

Leave to freeze – it’s roughly a total of 4 hours.

the final four steps in this recipe - testing the custard, straining the custard, putting it in a container to freeze, and the ice cream frozen.

Tips for success and FAQs:

three ice cream cones, one with ice cream, with a bowl of strawberries on the side.

How to store the egg whites:

You can store egg whites in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Alternatively, you can freeze them for future use. Add the whites to airtight containers suitable for the freezer. Be sure to label them with the date and the number of egg whites. Or, freeze individual egg whites in an ice cube tray. When frozen, transfer the whites to a container or zip-lock bag.

Ways to use the egg whites:

Use up your leftover egg whites in some delicious ways, such as these recipes:

  • Individual Lemon Curd Meringues
  • Almond Cookies – Gluten and Dairy Free
  • Chewy Amaretti Cookies
  • Mini Meringues with Berries and Cream
  • Individual Strawberry Meringues
  • Chocolate Almond Cookies
container of ice cream, with some balls scooped out, with some ice cream cones and a bowl of strawberries on the edge.

Serving suggestions:

Here are some of our favourite things to enjoy the No Churn Gluten-Free Vanilla Ice Cream with:

  • Decadent Chocolate Brownies
  • Brandied Oranges
  • Spiced Poached Plums
  • Fresh Pineapple Crisp
  • Easy Strawberry Sauce
  • Easy Blueberry Sauce
  • Peach and Plum Crumble
  • Mini Plum Tartlets
  • Chocolate Raspberry Brownies
  • And with a shot of Espresso to make an Italian Affogato.

Whilst nothing beats an icy cold ice cream on hot summer days, my No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream is a classic recipe, perfect to enjoy throughout the year, not just during summer. Make this for your family and friends and they will feel special. Such a gesture is a clear declaration of your affection for them.

Alex xx

This post was originally published in September 2018. It has been updated with new photos and more information. The recipe remains the same.

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