Although I try to own as few machines as possible (didn’t feel compelled to replace my blow dryer when it broke in 1999, have never owned a television, and would absolutely take a pay cut if someone would take back my work-issued phone), I caved in the face of an ice cream maker. Making your own ice cream is not very necessary, but pretty fun.
Unfortunately my ice cream maker is somewhere at my parents’ house at the moment, so this seemed like an opportunity to try something I’ve been curious about for a while now: no-churn ice cream. The basic recipe comes from Martha Stewart and is infinitely adaptable, and The Vanilla Bean Blog has an impressive archive of no-churn ice cream recipes. Since it’s summer I used cherries and put a Southern spin on the whole thing by soaking them in bourbon and adding toasted pecans. I was nervous that the end product would be Cool Whip-y and airy, but it is very much and surprisingly ice cream-y.
P.S. Re: OITNB, Alyna, have you noticed that one of the Golden Girls is none other than the grandma in Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” music video?! Also, I loved the song that plays over the end credits of the Valentine episode. Apparently there is a somewhat popular YouTube video of an a cappella group covering this song, which you should not watch unless you want to be in a bad mood for like 15 minutes.
No-Churn Cherry + Pecan Bourbon Ice Cream
Makes approximately 1 1/2 quarts
1 cup of dried cherries (Try to find ones where no oil, sugar or sulfur has been added.)
1 1/2 cups bourbon
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons bourbon (left over from the bourbon used to soak the cherries)
2 cups cold heavy cream
3/4 cup of toasted pecans, roughly chopped
Do ahead: For the bourbon-soaked cherries, place the dried cherries in a glass jar, and then add the 1 1/2 cups of bourbon. Cover and let cherries soak for at least 24 hours so they can plump up. When the cherries are ready, chop up enough cherries so that you have 1 cup. The chopped bourbon cherries will be added to the ice cream mixture toward the end. You will have extra cherries, which you can use as a topping, to snack on, or in cocktails, whatever.
In a medium bowl, stir together condensed milk, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of bourbon left over from soaking the cherries. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream on high until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes.
With a rubber spatula, fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture until combined. Gently stir in the chopped cherries and pecan pieces. Very gently fold the rest of the whipped cream in. Pour into a loaf pan, cover, and freeze until firm (this takes at least six hours). Ice cream keeps in the freezer for up to a week.