Ballymaloe No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream ~ this classic vanilla ice cream recipe from Darina Allen is a dream come true for anyone who craves a homemade ice cream experience but lacks the fancy machine ~ her unusual no churn technique is life changing!
The Irish chef and food writer Darina Allen founded her Ballymaloe cooking school and organic farm in the early ’80s. Ms Allen is a spokesperson for the slow, local, and back to basics food movement and this ice cream recipe is one that she herself developed, you can find it in her book Forgotten Skills of Cooking.
This tried and true recipe is simple enough to memorize, and once you’ve mastered it, you can feel confident tinkering with it, this exact ice cream has been a Ballymaloe staple for over 50 years, and the basic formula has been turned into countless flavors.
I’ve made so many homemade ice creams, some with my machine, and some without, but this interesting technique was completely new to me. Most no churn recipes make use of sweetened condensed milk, which is tasty and convenient, but it can make for a heavy ice cream. Like a traditional cooked custard ice cream, this recipe relies on egg yolks to keep the mixture creamy and scoopable, and results in a lighter flavor and texture than any other no churn recipe I’ve tried.
This is definitely worth a try if you don’t have an ice cream machine and want to experience the wonders of freshly made ice cream. Even if you do have an ice cream machine you should try it, it’s lovely to know that you can get by without high tech equipment if you need to ;)
This no churn vanilla ice cream recipe is easy and straightforward, and while you don’t need an ice cream machine, you will need a couple of other basic tools to make it ~
- a candy or deep fry thermometer. These come with clips so you can attach it to the side of your pan and easily see when your syrup has reached the right temperature. Every kitchen needs one of these, you’ll use it for jam, candy, and frying.
- a stand mixer or electric beaters, a stand mixer is easiest.
I hope you give this a try, it’s absolutely delicious.
*I’ve slightly adapted Darina Allen‘s no churn vanilla ice cream recipe for clarity and convenience.
- 4 large egg yolks (use pasteurized eggs if you are concerned about using raw eggs)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp good vanilla extract (this is key)
- 1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream, cold
- Beat the egg yolks until light and fluffy, at least several minutes. Ideally do this in a stand mixer. Beat in the vanilla extract.
- Whip the cream to soft peaks in a large bowl, then refrigerate.
- Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Keep at a full boil until the mixture reaches the 'thread' stage, 223°F-236F on your candy thermometer. This will take about 10 minutes, give or take, depending on the size of your pan, you don't need to stir while it is boiling. The mixture will reduce down and will be syrupy, so use this as a guide if you don't have a thermometer.
- With the mixer on, add the hot syrup to the egg yolks in a slow steady stream, beating all the time. Let the mixer go for a few minutes until the mixture is thick and very pale, like mousse.
- Gently mix the egg yolk mixture into the whipped cream, using a classic folding technique so you don't lose all the air in the whipped cream. When the mixture is fully combined and there are no streaks, spoon it into a freezable container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 6-8 hours or overnight.
- Scoop and enjoy!
Make it your own ~
- Vary the flavoring by using peppermint, almond, or any other extract you like.
- Add instant coffee powder to the mousse or the cream before whipping.
- The seeds of a vanilla bean would make this extra luxe.
- Add chocolate shavings.
- To make chocolate ice cream add cocoa powder to the whipping cream, fold melted and cooled chocolate into the mousse…or both!
- For another take on no churn ice cream, try my NO CHURN VANILLA BEAN ICE CREAM.