Ice Cream/Frozen Desserts

The Easiest (Strawberry-Buttermilk) Ice Cream You'll Make All Summer

My interest in ice cream: very high. My interest in standing over a hot stove in the thick humidity of summer: very low. Of course, I will cook and grill all summer long, because a lady’s got to eat. But I get very excited when I discover excellent summertime recipes that require minimal effort and no heat.

Photo by Posie Harwood

Too often, no-cook ice creams often taste like a shadow of the real thing: not quite custard-y or creamy enough. Until now, my top contender in the "no-cook" arena has been this luscious blackberry lemon ice cream.

But this week I made and fell in love with a no-cook strawberry buttermilk gelato that's comes together from just 4 ingredients. The base for the recipe comes from Organic Valley, but I’ve tweaked it slightly after some research and experimentation.

Photo by Posie Harwood

You could probably argue that this isn’t technically gelato, but instead of wasting time on semantics, let’s all sit outside and eat a bowl of this together, okay?

More: Semantics of frozen desserts, you say? Right this way, please.

Closer to a smoothie then a custard, the base for this ice cream is just puréed strawberries, buttermilk, sugar, and a bit of sour cream. I added a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor of the fruit. If you’re feeling fancy, you could easily add a bit of good, thick balsamic vinegar, or even some fresh basil or mint.

Photo by Posie Harwood

Simply blitz all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor (sometimes I don’t fully purée the mixture, so I’m left with some small chunks of berries), then pour the mixture into an ice cream maker. Twenty minutes later: ta-da! That's it! Homemade gelato, in a gorgeous pale pink hue, flecked with strawberry seeds.

What no-cook recipes do you lean on in the dog days? Share them in the comments.


Francesca August 20, 2016
Hi Posie! This recipe looks great and I'd like to give it a try. The only thing is that buttermilk is nowhere to be found here in Italy. Is there anything I could substitute? My usual buttermilk substitute is yogurt thinned with a little milk/milk with a little lemon juice, but do you think that would work in an ice cream recipe?
Fatemah R. July 22, 2016
Can you you splenda or another sugar substitute to make it accessible to diabetics?
cosmiccook July 22, 2016
can you sub crème fraiche for the sour cream?
Renée (. June 19, 2016
I make something similar, but using buttermilk, light cream (or half-n-half), and jam. Works great as an ice cream, or a thick and frosty milkshake.
Catherine June 13, 2016
I could only find low fat buttermilk at my grocery store. Will it work or will it get too hard?
Renée (. June 19, 2016
Catherine - That's the only kind of buttermilk you can get in stores around here, too. It shouldn't make your ice cream too hard, at all. There's a bit of fat added from the sour cream, which adds creaminess.
witloof June 12, 2016
Posie, have you tried the no cook no churn ice cream that consists of whipped cream and sweetened condensed milk? I have made it a couple of times using super premium organic heavy cream, organic canned milk, and madagascar vanilla bean paste, and I'm ready to give away my ice cream maker. You have to let it sit for a day or two for the flavors to mellow and after that it's just wonderful. I am unfortunately limited in how much dairy I can eat so I haven't played around with it but I am sure it could be tweaked in all kinds of ways, like ribboning caramel through it or adding some crushed peppermint or fruit.
Sam June 12, 2016
What if I have no ice cream maker ??
Author Comment
Posie (. June 12, 2016
No worries! You can still make it. See my comment below.
Rach June 12, 2016
Any way to do this without an ice cream maker? The one downfall of all ice cream recipes is that I don't own an ice cream maker and also have NO desire to.
Author Comment
Posie (. June 12, 2016
Definitely. There are a few approaches to try, I suggest googling
Author Comment
Posie (. June 12, 2016
Sorry! Mistyped. I suggest looking at this article which explains a few different ways of going about it!
Rach June 13, 2016
Ha ! Your first response was full of such SASS! Glad to see a more complete response as well, thank you :)
Caroline L. June 12, 2016
i can't wait to try this. i might even (unnecessarily complicate it) roast the berries first!
Author Comment
Posie (. June 12, 2016
YASSS. To anyone who does want to roast the berries first: Throw a vanilla bean or some balsamic vinegar on the sheet pan with the berries to roast with them! Then puree.