Ice cream can be your best friend or your worst enemy depending on how you look at it. For the longest time, it was the latter of the two for me since I’m lactose intolerant. Even those digestive pills on the market couldn’t help me enjoy a cup of soft serve at the local parlor anymore. So I sadly did without it. In time, I discovered a few lines of non-dairy brands, although there weren’t too many flavor options and the ice cream itself was as hard as a rock! Finally, I decided to just make my own.
Since I didn’t have an actual ice cream maker at home, I needed to figure out a way to use the tools that I already had. For this recipe, I only used my electric blender, a couple of ice cube trays, a rubber spatula and a freezer-safe airtight container. I chose ice cube trays as the main receptacles since the individual compartments were small enough to expedite the overall freezing process. After a little research, I learned that breaking down as many icy bits while the mixture froze was a great way to achieve a smoother ice cream. Hence, the process of removing/mixing/refilling/reloading the trays into the freezer (as you will see in the recipe). I alternated between two ice cube trays so that I always had a clean and dry one readily available during the entire preparation.
Before I began, I also read that the higher the fat content of the base, the creamier the final product would be. Since I couldn’t use regular milk or heavy cream for my liquid base, I chose Silk’s Almond Coconut Blend. The texture’s end result was “just right” for me. However, you could use any milk of your choice (regular, soy, coconut, rice, almond, etc.).
As for the ice cream flavor, you could stick with your standard go-to choices or feel free to be a little creative. I hadn’t enjoyed pistachio ice cream for quite some time, so I went with that. I stirred in some additional chopped shelled pistachios just before the final freeze.
Next time I’m going to try vanilla pudding mixed with some chopped peanut butter cups. Or, maybe even pumpkin spice tossed with some crushed graham crackers? Perhaps banana cream pudding with pieces of vanilla wafer cookies? Chocolate pudding with some swirls of caramel sauce? You could also try making your own Neapolitan ice cream (chocolate, strawberry and vanilla). Just be sure you have enough ice cube trays and airtight containers to put your mixture(s) into.
With only a handful of ingredients, satisfying that frozen treat craving was a piece of cake! Ohhh, strawberry shortcake…maybe strawberry pudding with crumbled butter cookies? Mmm mmm mmm, ok I’m done (for now). Your turn! 😉
3.4 oz. box instant pudding & pie filling (flavor of your choice)
2 cups milk (I used Silk’s Almond Coconut Blend)
Add-ins: chocolate chips, chopped candy pieces, nuts, shredded coconut, etc. (optional)
1. Using a blender set on low, combine milk and instant pudding mix for about 1-2 minutes.
2. Pour mixture into ice cube tray and freeze. Clean the blender, but don’t put it away. You’ll use it a few more times.
3. Take ice cube tray out of freezer after 45 minutes, or until the tops are solidified (the middle and bottom of the cubes may still be runny). Place semi-frozen pudding cubes into blender, making sure to scrape out each cube compartment well to get all of the liquid. Blend on low for 30 seconds or so. This re-blending process will help remove any potential ice crystals, allowing for a smoother ice cream. Pour blended pudding mixture back into a clean and dry ice cube tray, then freeze for another 45 minutes. Repeat freezing/blending process at least three times.
4. Remove tray from freezer, the pudding cubes should be solid with minimal to no liquid at this point. Place all cubes into blender one last time and blend for 2-3 minutes. You may need to shift between blender speed settings in order to break down all of the cubes into a creamy consistency. Pour blended mixture into a freezer-safe airtight container. Gently stir into the mixture any add-ins that you’d like to and allow ice cream to freeze completely before serving (approximately two more hours).