Easy-Peasy Ice Cream

You have no ice cream churner, but you want homemade ice cream that’s a doddle to make? This is the recipe for you. Three base ingredients allow you to add any flavours/additions you like – see the footnotes for ideas.

Preparation is about 8 minutes, with 4 hours’ freezing before ready to serve. Kudos to everyone who suggested tinned sweetened milk instead of cooked custard.

Makes: 2 litres


  • 125ml (130g if weighing) cold full-fat milk
  • One 400g tin of sweetened condensed milk
  • 450ml double cream (450g if weighing)


  • 1 small and 1 large mixing bowl
  • Electric mixer (hand-held or stand)
  • Manual whisk
  • A 2-litre capacity storage container with airtight lid (or, two 1-litre containers)


  1. Mix the milk with the condensed milk in a small bowl with a spoon, until thoroughly combined.
  2. Whisk the cream in a large bowl until really stiff, starting at low speed and gradually increasing to high speed.
  3. Add the milk mixture to the whipped cream and whisk vigourously with a manual whisk until very smooth and no lumps remain.
  4. Mix in any additions (see footnotes).
  5. Pour into your container(s), and place in the freezer. Stir well after 2 hours. The ice cream is ready to eat after about another 2 hours. It will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for several weeks.

Flavourings and Additions
You are limited only by what you have to hand. Due to the sweetness of the condensed milk, I wouldn’t suggest adding honey or maple syrup (unless you have a really sweet tooth), but some grated lemon, lime, or orange zest is usually welcome – provided it works with whatever else you’re adding.

Flavouring and addition options include but are not limited to:
Extracts: Add up to 2 tablespoons vanilla, lemon, orange, cherry, or other extract. (If using peppermint, coffee, or coconut, I’d recommend starting with only 1 Tbsp, as more than that can be too strong.) Add the extract to the double cream as you’re whipping it.

Chocolate: Mix in as many white, milk, or dark chocolate chips as you like. I’d suggest 150g as the starting point, and increase from there to your taste.

Alternatively, you could melt 150g baking chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water on the hob (don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water), and mix into the ice cream mixture prior to freezing. Or, marble it in after 2 hours’ freezing.

Fruit: Frozen fruit is cheap, available year-round, and works a treat here. (Chop into bite-sized pieces as necessary, then defrost overnight in a sieve over a bowl.) Start with 200g fruit and add more if you prefer.

Don’t want to use, or don’t have, frozen fruit? Use fresh, or tinned (drained, of course); or, add up to 4 large spoonfuls of your favourite curd, jam, jelly, or marmalade. Harder fresh fruit (apples, and maybe pears/plums) might need to be cooked down in a pot on the hob for up to 8 minutes.

Spices and Herbs: Match these to any other additions. Ground nutmeg (or mace), cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, and cardamom are all good ideas. You could also go daring and try a touch of ground black pepper, or some thyme, sage, basil, lavender, mint, or other herbs (fresh or dried). I recommend starting with 1 tsp of anything (reduce to 1/2 tsp for ginger, cloves, pepper, or lavender); taste, then add more as you like.

Some ideas on pairings of spices with fruit can be found here; pairing herbs with fruit is explained here.

Mix ‘n Match: If you’ve perused the links of suggested spice/herb pairings with other ingredients, you’ll have been inspired to create a delicious ice cream such as strawberry-basil-black pepper; chocolate-cinnamon-chilli; ginger-star anise-plum; or cardamom-coconut-date.

Or … just add vanilla! 🙂

The main recipe picture shows ice cream made with 200g defrosted frozen blueberries, 3 large spoonfuls of home-made lemon curd, and 1 tsp dried basil. The picture below shows defrosted frozen morello cherries and blueberries, with grated orange zest and fresh nutmeg (and vanilla extract, not shown) added to the whipped cream.


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