This is a surprisingly simple (& seasonally appropriate!!) way to make ice cream from scratch without an ice cream maker. All you need is blender, a loaf pan, and a freezer. And you could use a mixer rather than a blender if you prefer. The churning action in an ice cream maker serves to blend air into the cream during the freezing process and so prevent icy crystals. This method incorporates air in advance by whipping the cream before freezing. The sweetened condensed milk helps in this regard too. And it adds enough sweetness that you don't need sugar.
You can get pretty creative with the basic whipped cream-sweetened condensed milk base. We flavor with espresso, and you can adjust the amount to taste. You could also experiment with mint extract. Or lime juice. Just before freezing, swirl in liquid caramel or fudge sauce or chocolate chips.
Pro tip: Make sure your blender is clean and there's no lingering aroma of salsa or pesto.
2 cups (16 oz) heavy cream
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1.5 - 2 shots of espresso from a favorite coffee shop
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Add the cream to a blender.
Beat the cream to soft peaks on medium high speed, which should take a minute or two. Scrape down the sides of the blender and add the optional vanilla extract.
Beat the cream to stiff peaks, then fold in sweetened condensed milk and 1.5 shots of espresso, and blend just long enough to mix thoroughly.
Taste mixture and mix in more espresso if you like.
Transfer to loaf pan and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.
Cover with a layer of plastic wrap and freeze over night.
Makes about a quart.