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Jun 10, 2014 08:24 AM

Homemade ice cream recipes that don't use heavy cream?

I'm finally making use of an ice cream maker that I've had forever, and I'm looking for ice cream recipes that don't call for heavy cream, but are still nice and creamy. I don't mind the calories, but, wow, heavy cream is expensive!

I ran across an article on Living Well magazine's site that says gelatin is a good way to give the ice cream some nice body without the heavy cream, but can't seem to find any recipes.

So, do you have any favorite ice cream recipes that don't use heavy cream?


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  1. I don't, but search terms that should yield good results are "ice milk recipes", "healthy ice cream"' and "light ice cream".

    Gelatin is certainly one ingredient in these kinds of frozen desserts, as are sweetened condensed milk, buttermilk, and half-and-half, frequently in combination.

    1. I've tried this type of recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/vanilla-... . But it's really not creamy and adding gelatin didn't help.

      Most ice cream recipes with gelatin still need some kind of cream or evaporated milk -- something to add that fat you need to make it creamy. With just milk and gelatin, the base comes out more like a softened Fudgesicle texture than an ice cream texture.

      Maybe frozen yogurt? -- http://yogurt-everyday.com/frozen-yog... But that might get pretty expensive, too.

      Do you have, or do you know anyone who has, a Costco membership? You can get larger cartons of heavy cream there for about the same price per ounce as milk in a regular grocery store. I usually split a gallon cream carton with a few of other people, but you can also freeze the extra.

      Good luck!

      2 Replies
      1. re: ninrn

        Wow, those frozen yogurt recipes look awesome! I've been making my own yogurt, and it goes on sale pretty often, so I could probably keep those pretty inexpensive.

        My mom works at Costco, so I do have a membership, but the closest one is 40 minutes away (without factoring in Denver traffic), and since we are only 2 adults and a toddler, I don't ever go. There is a rumor that a Costco will be opening up near our home - I hope it is true! In the meantime, next time we go to Denver I will stop and pick up some heavy cream - I had no idea you could freeze it! But now that I think of it, why wouldn't you be able to freeze cream you are going to use to make ice cream, lol :) Do I transfer it to another container first?

        1. re: lizmari

          Yes, I pop it into 2 or 4 cup mason jars for freezing, mainly because I don't like storing food in plastic and they stack pretty well.

      2. Is it just heavy cream that's the issue? As opposed to dairy in general, or calories in particular?

        If so, any recipe you have (ie a custard based ice cream base) can be made with whole milk, or even canned sweetened condensed milk.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          Apparently, for the OP it's less about the calories than the higher cost of cream.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            It's just the cost of the cream - $6.99 for a quart, and every recipe I have calls for 3 cups :(

            Do you know the substitution ratio for using sweetened condensed milk in place of the heavy cream and some of the sugar?

            1. re: lizmari

              Here's a condensed milk ice cream recipe: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/no-co... -- I'd leave out the sugar altogether. It's still going to be super sweet.

              1. re: lizmari

                Eep! no wonder you're howling!
                David Leibowitz' recipes are generally 2 cups cream to one cup milk (add some sugar). No need for eggs, mind.

            2. Somewhere at home I have a recipe for Sicilian gelato which uses milk thickened with starch instead of cream. I'll see if I can dig it up but if I remember correctly it is similar to this http://www.icecreamnation.org/2011/08... .

              1 Reply
              1. visit a costco and buy some heavy cream. as a bonus, they have a relatively quick rotation.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Chowrin

                  The nearest Costco is 32 miles away, so to be cost effective, I will have to wait until the next time we go to Denver, but I will definitely do that!

                  1. re: lizmari

                    It keeps for a full month, generally (ultrapasteurized)
                    (and folks around here travel at least 100 miles to get to my costco).