Prepare to be AMAZED! This is no ordinary low carb vanilla ice cream recipe. Oh no, my friends, not at all. This low carb vanilla ice cream has magical properties and should not be underestimated! Sure, it looks like regular vanilla ice cream and tastes like regular vanilla ice cream. It even behaves like regular vanilla ice cream. And that, my dear readers, is exactly the point. This ice cream recipe has the truly astonishing property of staying soft and scoopable, even after several days in the freezer. And it’s entirely low carb, egg-free and has no added sugars, which makes it all the more astonishing. If you’ve ever made your own ice cream at home, with or without sugar, you’ll understand what a feat this is. Because homemade ice cream never stays as soft and scoopable as store-bought. Until now.
I’ve had an ice cream maker for about 15 years now, so I’ve made my share of ice cream and this recipe is really a major achievement for me. Homemade ice cream can be wonderful, but in my experience it almost always freezes rock solid after a few hours in the freezer and needs to be left to soften in the fridge for half an hour or so before it can be served. This was the case even back in the day when I made my ice creams with sugar. The first few helpings, served after an hour or so in the freezer, were perfect, but after that it was like trying to chip away at a glacier with a kitchen knife. I also thought that to get the right consistency, ice cream had to be made with a significant amount of egg yolks, and I usually made my ice cream base with 4 to 6 yolks, leaving me with a lot of orphaned egg whites that needed to be used. Although I’ve made some delicious flavours of ice cream, I despaired of ever making one that could stay soft for several days.
This magical stay-soft low carb ice cream recipe came about through some serious experimentation. It all started when I decided to make some Dulce De Leche ice cream (recipe to come at a later date), using my low carb sweetenened condensed milk. Even as that one came out of the ice cream maker, I noted that the consistency was better than any I’d ever made. And then I was completely floored when it stayed soft enough to scoop right out of the freezer, even three days later. And as this particular recipe was entirely egg-free, I knew I’d hit on something really interesting. I just had to figure out exactly what it was.
So I commenced on an unseasonal bout of ice-cream making, trying a little more of this and a little less of that. I tried a chocolate version, which was close but not quite there. Then I decided to go for the all-time classic, vanilla ice cream, to see if I could replicate the qualities in a basic recipe. I got it on the first try, and was so excited that I decided I had to post this recipe first, so you could all benefit from my experience. I will tell you right now that the secret is a good amount of xanthan gum to thicken the base, and a bit of alcohol to help lower the freezing point. If you can’t or don’t tolerate either of those things, then this might not be the recipe for you and I apologize about that.
It is, however, the recipe for me and I suspect I will use this as my base recipe for many ice cream recipes to come. Enjoy!
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine cream and Swerve and bring just to a simmer.
- Remove from heat and quickly whisk in xanthan gum (don't worry if it gets a bit clumpy, it will smooth out when churned). Let cool 10 minutes.
- Transfer cream mixture to a bowl and whisk in Low Carb Sweetened Condensed Milk until smooth. Chill at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
- Stir in vodka and vanilla extract until combined.
- Pour into frozen canister of an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer's directions (I suggest churning for at least half an hour).
- Transfer to an airtight container, press plastic wrap flush to the surface, and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.
Serves 8. Each serving has 4.75g of carbs (fiber is negligible).