dessert ice cream

no-churn blood orange ice cream

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
When I was 17, a good friend handed me a copy of U2’s Joshua Tree. It was moments before I was headed out the door on our yearly family vacation to Wisconsin Dells, and it couldn’t have come at a better time, since I had recently worn out all my favorite recorded-off-the-radio mix tapes. Of course, I had heard some songs off the Joshua Tree in passing, but never had given the whole album a good listen. I popped the tape in my Walkman, and as my dad backed our sagging Chevrolet out the driveway, ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’ filled my ears. I’ll never forget the moment Bono’s voice washed over me. I clearly remember thinking I’ve been looking for this voice my whole life. My sweet young heart was absolutely enchanted.
Now let’s kindly remember I’m seventeen. My whole life hasn’t been that long, and I was a rather dramatic young thing: every moment was turned into a poem in my secret journal. But, looking back, I am able to pinpoint some sincerity in that statement, something more than a head-over-heals infatuation on said lead singer, something I couldn’t articulate at the time. I had just felt music open a new door in my humanity, in a way it never had, and I realized there were so many layers and so much depth to that sensitive girl smashed in the backseat with her siblings. As the songs rushed past my unconscious, I saw that this world was bigger than I could grasp, and it stretched beyond all the hurts and drama of a teenage girl. I needed to plunge right in – arms wide open – to seek and find, to embrace this life.
I’m not quite sure what all that has to do with blood orange ice cream. Maybe just that sometimes the simple things, the things you aren’t expecting, catch you off guard, and change things, point you in a new direction. The moment I slice that blood orange, and the bright purple shocks me, I am reminded how lovely and glorious this world can be. There are secret treasures hidden in many corners, beauty for all of us to find, to awaken us from our slumber. It is for us to look, search for it. To reach out, to touch the flame. Oh, where the streets have no name.*
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no-churn pumpkin ice cream   no-churn strawberry rosemary ice cream   blood orange pie    blood orange olive oil loaf cake

No-Churn Blood Orange Ice Cream

*You knew I had to sneak that in there somehow. [Line from U2, Where the Streets Have No Name].


This recipe is adapted from Everyday Food Magazine. Regular oranges can be substituted for the blood oranges. This ice cream tastes extra good served with vanilla wafers [I’ve fallen for the Ultimate Vanilla Wafers from Trader Joe’s].

1 can [14 ounces] sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons blood orange zest
1/2 cup fresh squeezed blood orange juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups cold heavy cream

In a medium bowl, stir together condensed milk, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla. In a large bowl of a standing mixer, beat cream on high until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. With a rubber spatula, gently fold whipped cream into condensed milk mixture. Pour into a regular sized loaf pan, and freeze until firm, 6 hours [or, covered, up to 1 week].
  • Reply
    Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Ooh I’m intrigued by this ice cream – with blood oranges such a vivid purple (the ones I’ve found always seem to be a slightly sad, paler red) I’m surprised it’s not darker in colour, but I suppose there is all that cream and milk. It looks, and sounds, absolutely wonderful – simple enough to really showcase that delicious juice.

    • Reply
      vanilla bean blog
      Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 2:32 am

      I thought it would be darker, too – but yes, the cream lightens it up. It tastes like a dream-sicle, and we can’t stop eating it here. 🙂

  • Reply
    Lauren Knight
    Saturday, February 4, 2012 at 4:10 am

    This sounds divine… and your 17-year-old self sounds eerily similar to my 17-year-old self.

    Anything with condensed milk and vanilla AND heavy cream… I’m sold. I doubt mine would even last to make it to ice cream. Thanks for this beautiful recipe and story!

  • Reply
    Payal Shah
    Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    This looks delicious! I will definitely keep it on the list to make sometimes in the near future.

  • Reply
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