Makes about 1 quart


  • One 13-ounce can sweetened, condensed milk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups heavy cream


    In a large bowl, combine the sweetened, condensed milk, vanilla bean, vanilla extract, salt and lemon juice.

    In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold the cream gently into the milk mixture, then transfer to a shallow, freezable container.

    Cover with plastic wrap, or waxed paper, pressed directly onto the surface of the ice cream and place in the freezer for 6 hours.

    Scoop and serve the finished ice cream with fresh berries, chocolate or caramel sauce or a drizzle of KahlĂșa.


    Vanilla, Lemon and Anise: This flavor combination is common in the Basque region of Spain and France, and although it is amazing on its own, it also serves as a great platform for fruity flavors. Add to the milk mixture the finely grated zest of 1 lemon and 1/2 a teaspoon of toasted and finely ground anise seeds (toast in a dry skillet and grind in a coffee mill). Fennel seeds will also work, as will a teaspoon of Pernod or sambuca. Be wary of anise extract—it can be too strong for this subtle blend.

    Vanilla-Cardamom: This is the perfect blend of sweet, spicy and floral flavors. Gently warm the cup of milk in the microwave or on the stovetop, then add 1 teaspoon of crushed cardamom pods. Set it aside to steep and cool completely. Drain off the spice and proceed with the recipe as directed.

    Vanilla-Tomato: Just calm down. Tomato is a fruit, after all, and in much of the world, including France, there are some great tomato-based dessert applications, including this one. Take 2 peeled, ripe tomatoes (really ripe—this is nonnegotiable) and cook in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of sugar, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the sugar has caramelized. Remove from the skillet and cool completely. Add the cooled tomato to the vanilla-milk base and proceed as directed. This ice cream is especially nice with a drizzle of caramel sauce.

    From No-Churn Ice Cream by Leslie Bilderback. Copyright © 2015 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin's Griffin.

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