Lately I’ve been doing a lot of mama cooking. Meaning I am using as few ingredients as possible and skimping on the prep when I can. Case in point: This recipe involves no measuring and no cooking. It is sweetened with a can of condensed milk and the other two ingredients are measured out using the same can. Add a capful of vanilla extract and pinch of salt for a no-measure, no-cook ice cream base that’s ready to chill and freeze. What you end up with is a wonderfully tangy ice cream. It’s buttermilk ice cream like you mean it—the buttermilk flavor shines.
The first birthday I spent with Mr. L we made plans to go to Alba in Des Moines’ East Village neighborhood. He picked me up early so we could go for a walk before dinner around the capital. It was just the right time of night where the sun was up when we started our walk and all the lights around the capital and the Des Moines skyline were aglow by the end. The temperature also dropped so in a picture we took in front of the capital that night my nose is pink from the cold and so were Mr. L’s cheeks. We both look too ridiculously happy to care about how cold it was though. We had an epic dinner that night, complete with chorizo fries to start and a molten chocolate cake with buttermilk ice cream to end the night. We would go on to have many more meals there, always ending with that same dessert. In fact, we ate at Alba the night before we pulled a U-Haul with everything I owned in it to DC a month before we were married. Funny thing though, when I offered up this ice cream to Mr. L earlier he said he had never had buttermilk ice cream before.
Hopefully my version will be more memorable to him. It’s a not-too-sweet ice cream so it can handle a drizzle of honey or slice of pie just fine. Or serve it with something warm and chocolatey to get the same gooey chocolate-buttermilk ice cream combo we (or I) fell for years ago.
Lazy Day Buttermilk Ice Cream (No-Egg Recipe)
The flavor of this ice cream is similar to yogurt and because it is a no-cook and no-egg ice cream it has some texture and will not be completely silky-smooth as a custard-based ice cream would be. Taste the mix before freezing it and if it is too tangy for your taste add a spoonful or two of sugar.
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 can whipping or heavy cream (use the emptied sweetened condensed milk can to measure)
1 1/2 cans buttermilk (use the emptied sweetened condensed milk can to measure)
1 tsp. of vanilla extract (about the amount in one capful)
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. lemon juice (optional—adds an extra tang to the ice cream)
In a large bowl, pour in the sweetened condensed milk and use a spatula to scrap any from the sides and bottom of the can. Using the empty can, measure 1 can of cream and 1 1/2 cans of buttermilk. Add the vanilla and a pinch of salt. Whisk it all together and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Pour into a 1 1/2-quart ice cream machine and churn until the consistency of soft serve ice cream (I used a Cuisinart machine and churned it for 25 minutes. Use the manufacturer’s directions for your machine). Place in a freezer container and freeze 6 hours or more to ripen. Let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes to soften slightly before scooping.