I don’t have an ice cream maker, but I still love to make homemade ice cream. Yes, it’s possible to make ice cream at home, without an ice cream maker, and to do it in just a few minutes!
The trick is to use frozen fruit and to combine it with half-and-half or with heavy cream in a food processor. When processed together for a few minutes, the result is a soft ice cream, made with any fruit flavor you like. Eat it right away, or if you like hard-frozen ice cream, put it in the freezer for about 2 hours. The texture is not exactly the same as commercial ice cream or that made in an ice cream maker, but it’s pretty close. My kids like their ice cream soft, so we eat it right away and freeze any leftovers.
The best thing about this method is making ice cream with different fruits and experimenting with unique combinations. For this entry, I made two batches – one mango and one strawberry – but the possibilities are endless. You can start with any of the frozen fruits available at Trader Joe’s: strawberry, cherry, mango, papaya, tropical blend, mixed berries, peach, etc. If you get bored with those, you can even buy fruit, freeze it, and then follow the recipe.
If you make your own ice cream at home (especially if you do it without an ice cream maker!) I’d love to hear your tips and favorite flavor combinations. The other method I’ve used is the plastic bag method,a.k.a. “shake, shake, shake,” which was very popular with my kids for awhile. It’s fun, they do 100% of the work, and can instantly enjoy their own single servings of ice cream.
Homemade Mango Ice Cream
- 12 oz (about half the bag) Frozen Mango Chunks
- 2/3 cup half-and-half (or heavy cream, but I prefer half-and-half)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Make sure the half-and-half is very cold. Combine with sugar and stir for 30 seconds or so until sugar starts to dissolve.
- Do not thaw mango; for this recipe it should be frozen hard. Add frozen mango to a food processor, and process just to chop it up roughly. Add heavy cream and process until mixture is smooth (1-2 minutes).
- Serve right away. Or, for a hard-frozen ice cream, pour into a freezer-safe container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Stir it every 30 minutes or so until it freezes, helping to break up ice crystals that may form.
For the strawberry ice cream, I used a 12-oz bag of Frozen Organic Strawberries and I substituted heavy cream for the half-and-half. Process the same way.
Makes 4 1/2-cup servings (double the recipe for a larger batch)