This rich, creamy strawberry ice cream recipe is made without eggs and without an ice cream maker, and with just 3 simple everyday ingredients. If you’ve ever thought you could make better strawberry ice cream than the icy stuff you can buy, this recipe is for you!
For the love of strawberries and cream
Have you ever eaten Neapolitan ice cream & just left most of the strawberry ice cream behind to wither, even though you love strawberries? Even commercially prepared strawberry ice cream is so often icy and lacking in nearly any flavor, even though it’s suspiciously bright pink.
This recipe is super simple, made of strawberries, cream and sugar requires absolutely no special equipment (a simple handheld mixer to whip the cream will do) and will ruin you for anything less, forever more.
Why does ice cream get icy?
Ice cream gets icy for a couple simple reasons. Too much moisture in the mixture can mean large ice crystals in your cream. That’s often the case with strawberry ice cream since strawberries have a high water content.
If there’s too little sugar or too little fat in your ice cream, without any additions that keep the mixture from freezing solid, your ice cream could also be in trouble.
One way to keep your ice cream from getting overly icy is to make it in an ice cream machine that freezes the mixture quickly. The faster the ice cream is frozen as it’s spinning, the smaller the ice crystals will be and the creamier the result.
How to make strawberry ice cream without a machine
What if you love my 3-ingredient homemade vanilla ice cream, no ice cream machine required, and want to make a strawberry version? You can do it, but you’ll need to concentrate those strawberries.
I roasted the strawberries to concentrate their flavor and turn their juice into a syrup. That way, the strawberries have much less moisture to turn into ice crystals, and the strawberry flavor is super intense.
Rather than waiting for the berries to release their moisture on their own, we roast them for 20 minutes, and then break them open with the back of a spoon before roasting for 10 more minutes. The liquid mostly evaporates and what’s left behind is pure strawberry goodness.
The roasted berries are then pureed with a bit of the sweetened condensed milk called for in the total recipe. Thick, sweet, intense strawberry flavor is our handsome reward.
I do often roast 2 pounds of fresh strawberries, rather than just the 1 pound called for in the recipe. Then, I puree half of the roasted berries with a bit of granulated sugar and reserve it to serve on top of each scoop. As long as you’re roasting berries, you may as well make the most of it!
The rest of the story goes a lot like we have come to expect from this no-machine ice-cream method. Whip some heavy cream, fold in the strawberry sweetened condensed milk, and freeze until firm. Scoop this perfectly smooth and creamy ice cream right out of the freezer. Stay cool, and enjoy!
Ingredients and substitutions
This really isn’t the sort of recipe that can be made with simple substitutions. But let’s talk about it!
Dairy-free: In theory, you should be able to replace the sweetened condensed milk with dairy-free sweetened condensed milk and the heavy whipping cream with chilled coconut cream. They even make canned dairy-free sweetened condensed milk, so you wouldn’t necessarily have to make your own.
But I really don’t recommend doing any of that! If you’d like to make dairy-free homemade strawberry ice cream, I’d begin with my dairy-free no-churn ice cream recipe as a base. It calls for gelatin, which really helps the ice cream stay creamy and not get icy.
Sugar-free: Since sugar is one of the few ingredients that doesn’t freeze solid, it’s very difficult to make homemade ice cream without it—especially without an ice cream maker. If you can find a way to make sweetened condensed milk with a sugar substitute like monkfruit granulated sweetener, it might be worth a shot!
Roasted strawberries: If you don’t want to go through the trouble of roasting the strawberries, you can cook them on the stovetop instead. Place them in a medium-sized, heavy-bottom saucepan and cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until the berries are broken down and any liquid is thickened. Note that roasting tends to be easier than cooking the berries since it requires much less hands-on cooking time.