Instant Strawberry Ice Cream

Making good homemade strawberry ice cream is time-consuming and tricky. You’d think simply churning fresh berries with custard would work, but it doesn’t. Instead, the fruit ends up icy hard, while the ice cream stays soft and silky—not the ideal texture. With my quick blender method, frozen strawberries pureed with milk and sweetener turn to ice cream… instantly!

Rather than using heavy cream, I keep it light with evaporated milk, which offers all the benefits of cream with half the calories. And because evaporated milk is less rich, it allows the strawberry flavor to really shine. And although I haven’t given up sugar, I’m using less of it. Here I sweeten the strawberries with agave, a natural sweetener with a low glycemic index, which prevents the usual sharp rise and fall in the blood sugar.

If you haven’t planned your 4th of July dessert yet, here’s one to consider. Strawberries are abundant right now. Plus, check out the ingredient list. This recipe calls for just three–strawberries, agave, and evaporated milk. And the best part… you don’t even need an ice cream freezer. If you top it with a little whipped cream and a few fresh blueberries, it’s the right color for tomorrow’s holiday, and it’s  wonderfully a light, fresh dessert after the big cookout.

Happy 4th of July to you all.

Instant Strawberry Ice Cream
Serves: Makes a generous 3 cups, serving 6
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled, halved if large, and frozen
  • ½ cup agave
  • ¾ cup evaporated milk
  1. Place frozen berries in a blender canister add agave and milk. Thoroughly blend on highest setting, stopping and stirring the mixture 3 or 4 times to evenly process, so that the ice cream is smooth with small bits of strawberries. Transfer to a shallow pan and freeze to a scoopable texture, about 1 hour.
You can serve this ice cream straight from the blender, soft-serve style or put it in the freezer for a few minutes to set up. When strawberries aren’t in season, simply buy frozen strawberries. Garnish this light, frozen treat with extra sliced strawberries if you like. If you don’t want to use agave, simply substitute an equal amount of sugar.


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  1. Lora Johns says

    Love the color of this icecream and strawberry is my favorite flavor for any icesream based treat.. I am a little confused by the measurement listed for the evaporated milk. Please clear the cobwebs from my head for me. I am sure it jusr me. and makes sense to everyone else out there. Thanks a bunch

  2. says

    Instant and ice cream in the same sentence sounds like something I can get behind! I will be eating this shortly…..thank you!

  3. Danielle says

    Hi Pam–looks like a great recipe, but I am pregnant, so can’t have agave. How much sugar should I use instead? Thank you!

    • says

      Hey Danielle, good question. You can substitute an equal amount of honey or sugar in place of the agave. If using sugar, however, I’d dissolve it in the milk first. Good luck and congratulations!

  4. Beth says

    Can evaporated milk be used in place of cream in other recipes? I make a pasta sauce with tomatoes, basil and whipping cream and wonder if evaporated milk would work in that.

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