What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you hear the word “summer”?
Maybe it’s the beach or bright blue skies with lots of sun, but I always think of fresh fruit. You know that feeling when you bite into a perfectly ripe strawberry or a super fresh mango? That’s summer to me.
One July, when I was fifteen, I visited a beautiful farm with my friends. We took a hayride around the property, just enjoying the warmth, the beauty, and the serenity of it all. When we were done with the ride, we had the opportunity to pick fresh fruit and take them home with us!
I don’t remember exactly what I picked, but I do remember being blown away by the quality of the fruit. So ripe, sweet, and refreshing…it’s hard to find that at most supermarkets these days! And, if I’m being completely honest here, I feel like a fruit at its sweetest and freshest is as good as any cake or cookie!
Alright! Enough blabber about summer and farms and fruit. Let’s talk about the more important things in life: homemade ice cream.
Here’s a question: do you believe you need special equipment and culinary training to make ice cream at home? If you do, get that idea out of your head right now! Because you can make incredible homemade ice cream with just heavy cream and a can of sweetened condensed milk. And you’re not limited to making just vanilla flavor, either You can make chocolate, coffee, caramel, strawberry, mint, coconut…do I need to go on? The possibilities are endless (believe me, there’s a sh*t ton of homemade ice cream in my freezer right now), but let’s shift our focus on this lemon blueberry-swirl!
If you’re a fan of ice cream on the fruitier side, this lemon-blueberry will DO IT for you! It’s light. Refreshing. Flavorful. Creamy. Sweet without being overpowering. It’s just delightful.
Can I really make homemade ice cream without an ice cream maker?
Yes, of course!
I first learned about the concept of no-churn ice cream on the Spruce Eats blog (https://www.thespruceeats.com/no-churn-ice-cream-4687010). The process of making it is so simple:
- Mix sweetened condensed milk, salt, vanilla extract, and any other flavorings of your choice in a medium-sized bowl.
- Beat chilled heavy cream to stiff peaks.
- Combine the cream and the milk mixture, pour into a loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap, freeze, and you’re done!
But does it taste like the real thing?
It tastes like the real thing because it is the real thing! It’s just a simplified version that you can practically make with your eyes closed! I have a certain philosophy when it comes to the kitchen. If there’s an easier way to make something from scratch that will still turn out absolutely delicious, then do it! It’s a classic “work smarter, not harder” mindset.
You know how sometimes you have to burn through your checking account to make certain desserts because the ingredients/required equipment are so damn expensive?
Not only is no-churn ice cream tasty, it’s easy on your bank account!
Think about it. A can of condensed milk is usually, what, $1 or $2? Heavy cream at my local Walmart runs me about $2, too. A few lemons are cheap af. You most likely already have salt in your house (I mean…I hope you do?) And you probably already own a whisk or a hand mixer to whip your heavy cream with. No need to break the bank.
How long do I have to freeze it?
That depends on the texture that you want!
With no-churn ice cream, I’ve found that the length of freezing time really affects texture and scoopability (just invented that word).
If you’re craving soft-serve ice cream, five hours in the freezer should suffice. If you want a sturdier texture that can be scooped into big, picture-perfect rounds, freezing overnight is best.
Maybe you’ve been eyeing that fancy ice-cream machine at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, or maybe there’s one sitting in your Amazon cart right now. If you know you’ll get good use out of a machine, go for it! But you really, really don’t need to buy one to make your own incredible ice cream at home.
And, hey, lemons and blueberries may not be your jam. That’s cool. Check out our other ice cream recipes, like Toasted Coconut Ice Cream (No Churn) and 3-Ingredient Dulce de Leche Ice Cream (No Churn).
Let’s get ice cream’ makin!
No Churn Lemon-Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream
- 9×5 inch loaf pan
For the ice cream
- 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups chilled heavy cream
- yellow food coloring (optional)
For the blueberry sauce
- 3/4 cup fresh blueberries
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 tablespoon cold water
For the blueberry sauce
- Place your loaf pan in the freezer. It will remain there until both the blueberry sauce and the ice cream are finished.
- Add blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice to a saucepan over medium heat. Stir and mash gently with a fork until the blueberries are softened and releasing their juices, about 5 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Add the mixture to the blueberries. Then crank the heat up to bring everything to a boil.
- Continue to cook and stir until the sauce has thickened, which takes about 3 minutes.
- Remove from the stovetop, transfer to a heat-proof bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the blueberry sauce to cool in the fridge.
For the lemon ice cream
- In a medium bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, salt, vanilla, and lemon juice. You can add a few drops of yellow food coloring, if you’d like. Mix with a spatula until everything is smooth and combined with no streaks.
- In a large bowl, use either a hand mixer, stand mixer, or whisk (if you’re strong enough!) to beat the chilled heavy cream to stiff peaks. When the beaters are lifted, the peaks should be firm enough to stand without falling. Be careful not to overbeat the cream.
- Pour about half of the whipped cream into the bowl with the condensed milk mixture. Stir and fold with your spatula until they are well combined. Then, pour that mixture into the large bowl with the remaining whipped cream. Again, stir with a spatula until everything is smooth (not stirring well enough leaves streaks). The mixture will be thick.
- Begin layering the ice cream and blueberry sauce in the chilled loaf pan. Pour half of the ice cream mixture into the pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Then, drop small dollops of blueberry sauce on top; use a knife or toothpick to swirl the sauce with the ice cream. Pour the remaining half of the ice cream into the pan, add blueberry sauce, and swirl again.
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the freezer. For ice cream with a soft-serve texture, freeze for 5-6 hours. For solid, more scoopable ice cream, freeze overnight.
- Remember to chill your heavy cream before whipping it. I also like to chill the bowl and the whisk attachment that I use to beat it.
- Be sure to cover your loaf pan with plastic wrap. Freezer burn is no fun.
- This ice cream will stay fresh in the freezer for about 3 weeks to a month. We always finish it before then anyway!
- Frozen blueberries could possibly work for the sauce; just don’t thaw them before cooking. I highly recommend using fresh fruit.