When you’re in desperate need of a frozen treat without leaving the house to get it, the most satisfying shortcut might be a cold and fluffy no-shatter ice cream.
Made from sweetened condensed milk and whipped cream, it’s almost absurdly minimalist and doesn’t even require an ice cream maker. There’s no fuss about curdled egg yolks, because you don’t have to cook custard. Simply whip up some cream, stir in the milk and some flavorings – a pinch of salt and a little vanilla extract will do the trick – then let it sit in the freezer until you can figure it out. It’s the perfect hack for any hot day.
The reason this recipe works so well is because even though there are only a few ingredients, each one does double duty. The fat content of the cream gives a rich, tongue-coating texture, and the air you whip into it creates volume and buoyancy, allowing the ice cream to stay supple when frozen.
(If you or your Airbnb don’t have an electric mixer for whipping, just grab a shaker or mason jar to shake. Your arms will get a mini-workout.)
Then there’s the condensed milk: Because the sugar in it is already liquid, it doesn’t need heat to dissolve. Viscous, syrupy and low moisture, it also helps prevent the formation of ice crystals, which makes for an especially smooth and velvety ice cream.
In this version I tweak the ingredients a bit, substituting store-bought condensed milk. The flavor is deeper and more complex, with roasted caramel notes replacing milky vanilla. Then I swirl more dulce de leche into the ice cream base for irresistibly sticky ripples of caramel all over.
To punctuate the sweetness with some crunchy, delicious pops, add a pinch of flaky sea salt to the dulce de leche before swirling it into the ice cream base. And while you’re at it, you can also mix in a few tablespoons of chopped nuts, shredded coconut, or chocolate chunks or chips.
Once it’s frozen, scoop this delightful ice cream into cones or put it on a sundae or banana split. Then again, you could take the lazy, lazy summer approach and spoon it, languidly and meltingly, straight out of the container and into your mouth.