Homemade ice cream is one of our favorite things to make in the summer, and both of us have memories from our childhood of the ice cream machine droning away and the sound of the ice cubes and rock salt crunching and rubbing along the freezer drum as it churns away. Every summer you can find us all standing around the machine in anticipation of the sound of the motor grinding to a halt as the cream has gotten thick and frozen enough that the motor will no longer turn the churn.
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Maybe its the fact that we do all the work and we become biased, but the results always seem like the flavors are richer and the texture creamier than store bought ice cream. However there are always a couple of shortcomings to the homemade ice cream that always leaves us looking for a way to make homemade ice cream better.
While our homemade ice cream is always delicious the one place store bought always has us beat is when it comes to scooping. Our ice cream is never easy to scoop as it is always frozen solid as a rock so we spend way too much time trying to let the ice cream get soft enough to scoop it that it almost becomes melted soft serve. If we could figure out a way to get that same store bought scoop-ability and the rich flavors of our homemade ice cream in one, we might just be in frozen treat heaven!
We recently ran across a recipe for no-churn ice cream which promised to stay soft enough to scoop while still packing in the flavors. As an added bonus, the recipe that we found speculated that it would be perfect for making boozy ice cream which could be a way to make that delicious homemade ice cream into some really unique varieties! With one of our favorite drinks being the Old Fashioned, and already having successfully turned that cocktail into a dessert, we decided that making an Old Fashioned flavored no churn ice cream would be a fun recipe to perfect before summer arrives!
The secret to no churn ice cream is the use of heavy whipping cream as the base. Essentially we are making an infused whipped cream, then freezing it! Already designed to be whipped and get fluffy, the use of heavy whipping cream ensures the ice cream has enough fattiness to be rich and fulfilling while giving the base enough structure to be light an airy. As an added benefit, the fat in the heavy whipping cream is excellent vehicle for containing the essences of some of the ingredients we used to flavor the ice cream, resulting in richer, more intense flavors! We started out by adding the base ingredient of the Old Fashioned, rye whiskey, to our whipping cream and sugar base. While the Old Fashioned cocktail uses orange peel to add a bit of citrus to the drink, we didn’t want pieces of orange peel in the ice cream so we opted for a bit of fresh orange juice to add some acid and a splash of orange liqueur to intensify the orange flavor. Next we used some aromatic bitters (Angostura bitters are excellent in this) to add some warm spice and depth to the mix. We added this mix to a chilled bowl and then used a whisk (feel free to use a mixer) to fold air into the ice cream base and make the mixture light and airy. Mix until the mixture gets thick, but not stiff enough to make peaks like you would if you were making whipped cream. Pour the mix into a pan lined with foil or waxed paper and stick in the freezer to freeze overnight. We decided to wait until we served the ice cream to add a brandied cherry to the mix, but if you wanted to fold in the cherry before freezing, that would definitely work as well (we chose to not mix the brandied cherry in as we wanted the ice cream to be white, and we figured the cherry might turn the mix red!)
The resulting ice cream is very soft and scoop-able, yet firm enough that it feels like real ice cream and tastes like a slightly sweeter version of an Old Fashioned! While not as openly boozy as its namesake cocktail, the flavors of the rye and orange liqueur are strong enough that you know there is an adult edge to this treat. It is definitely richer than store bought ice cream and the texture is velvety smooth, which makes this feel very luxurious and a bit sinful. We both are looking forward to making this for some of our friends at our next dinner party and trying other fun versions of this homemade ice cream this summer!
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 oz Rye whiskey
- .5 oz Triple Sec
- 7-8 drops aromatic bitters
- 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1-2 brandied cherries
- Combine juice, whiskey, triple sec and bitters in a large bowl.
- Stir in powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time until combined.
- Add in whipping cream and mix until thick, but not stiff.
- Place in an airtight container, or in a wax paper lined pan covered with foil.
- Freeze until frozen, overnight, or up to a few days.
- Serve topped with brandied cherries. Cheers!
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