No-churn peach gelato! Make this creamy frozen dessert without an ice cream machine. Serve with honey-drizzled peaches and thyme.
Eating homemade ice cream is a pleasure, but let’s be honest. How often do you actually make it? If you’re not in the mood to start digging around for your ice cream maker, or if you don’t even have an ice cream maker, then say hello to this peach gelato.
This recipe doesn’t call for eggs like traditional custard ice creams do. Instead, an easy “no-churn” method makes this frozen dessert surprisingly light, rich and creamy with little effort. I’m so glad to share it!
The base calls for a short list of ingredients and can be flavored with just about anything you like (or just add some vanilla and keep it plain), but it’s especially delicious with fresh seasonal fruit, in this case peaches. Who doesn’t love peaches and cream?
What’s gelato anyway?
Gelato is the Italian name for the frozen dessert otherwise known as ice cream. Italian gelato, in general, is less sweet than American-style ice cream and has a thicker, dense texture.
Many traditional gelatos aren’t made with eggs and don’t have as much air churned into them. To me that means the focus is all on the cream.
To make this peach gelato, fresh peaches are pureed and blended with whipped cream, sweetened condensed milk and a small amount of cream cheese, which acts like a stabilizer and gives the ice cream a delicious tangy taste.
No-churn peach gelato has a smooth and creamy ice cream texture and it’s not too sweet or heavy.
Basic tools for making no-churn peach gelato:
A stand mixer definitely comes in handy to whip the cream. But you can also whip cream the old-fashioned way by hand (consider it your arm workout for the day):
Get a metal bowl and stick it in the freezer for about 15 minutes, then set the bowl on a kitchen towel and start beating very, very cold cream with a balloon whisk. It will take at least 10 minutes for the cream to form peaks, depending on your speed and the butterfat content of your cream.
While we’re on the subject, if you really want to travel the unplugged route to make this gelato, puree the peaches in an old-fashioned food mill instead of using a food processor.
no-churn peach gelato with honey thyme peaches
Yield 1 1/2 quarts
This no-churn peach gelato is an easy, elegant dessert with a smooth creamy texture.
Fresh strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are also absolutely delicious on top.
- 1 1/2 pounds peaches (5 or 6)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Pitted and sliced peaches
- Liquid honey
- Fresh thyme leaves
- Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. Use a small, sharp knife to mark an X on the bottom of each peach. Drop the peaches in the boiling water for 1 minute. Transfer the peaches to the ice water and cool.
- Slip the skins off the peaches, remove the pits and roughly chop. Puree in a food processor with the sugar until smooth (or leave it slightly chunky if you prefer). Put the puree in a bowl and stir in the condensed milk until smooth and combined.
- Whip the cream, cream cheese and salt in a mixer with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Fold in the peach mixture with a spatula until completely blended.
- Scrape the mixture into a loaf pan or other freezer-proof container. Cover and freeze until firm.
- Take the gelato out of the freezer about 15 minutes before serving to ease in scooping. Serve in bowls with sliced peaches, a drizzle of honey and the thyme sprinkled over.
Based on a recipe from The Vanilla Bean Baking Book
Cuisine ice cream