Incredible Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Now, I’m not one to exaggerate… but this ice cream pretty much blew my mind. It’s so incredibly easy and so incredibly delicious, it shouldn’t even be real. Try it immediately.

240ml double cream
1 405g can of condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla essence

Makes about 4 servings

Start by whipping the cream until it starts to thicken, i.e. until the whisk is making defined ripples in the cream, but before those ripples start holding their shape at all. Add the vanilla essence and whip again, until the soft peaks stage (in case you’re not familiar with this phrase, it’s the point at which a dollop of cream dropped back into the bowl holds its shape for a moment, on the surface). It’s important not to overwhip the cream at this stage, as then it’ll go thick and clumpy.

Open the can of condensed milk and slowly pour it into the bowl, with the mixer running. (I strongly recommend you use a mixer or an electric whisk for this, as it took a while even then – I hate to think how long it would take whisking by hand!) Keep whisking until the soft peaks are really well-defined, then transfer to a plastic container and put in the freezer for at least 8 hours, for a soft-serve ice cream, or for 24 hours, to make it a bit more solid. Make sure that you choose a container which is odourless – if it’s a lunchbox that’s previously held leftover curry, for example, you’d be surprised at how strongly even a small whiff of that could contaminate your ice cream.

Once you’ve had a go at this, you can customise it with all sorts of flavours. You can buy different essences in the supermarket – try adding almond essence, or peppermint – or you could swirl through a couple of tablespoons of jam instead, at the same point, for a fruity version. Yum!