I admit, this is just a riff on my Key Lime Pie Tartlets, but I did say at the time that it was possible to add whipped cream to the original recipe to make it fluffier– this is just another application of the concept!
Basically, I whipped 2 cups of heavy cream and folded it into the original mixture, which I augmented with additional lime juice, corn syrup, and sugar to balance out the flavors and keep the texture creamy when frozen. Add some graham cracker crumble and presto– instant key lime pie ice cream!
I really do like this ice cream, and while it still takes a fair amount of prep and uses two appliances– food processor and stand mixer– I think it’s worth it not to have to babysit an ice cream maker for the churning process. I did consider using the food processor to whip the cream as well (I hear it’s very efficient), but I read that food processor whipped cream is thicker and denser than regular whipped cream, and I wanted my cream to be as light and airy as possible to facilitate scoopability when frozen.
The finished product still froze pretty hard– much harder than regular churned ice cream– which is pretty standard in my experience with these no-churn recipes, no matter what I do. I left it on the counter for about 45 minutes before scooping and it was much easier after that– the product wasn’t icy, just hard. Though happily, when it thaws out it doesn’t get runny– like the original tart filling, it stays mousse-y and spoonable. Bonus!
In the interests of full disclosure I will admit that on my first try of this recipe I didn’t actually add extra lime juice– my mistake, as I assumed the mouth-puckeringly tart flavor of the original would be fine if toned down a bit for ice cream. But I found that the finished ice cream was just a tiny bit dull– not as bright and tangy as real key lime pie– so I upped the lime juice in the written recipe. I also wrote in an extra tablespoon of corn syrup in the hopes that it’ll help with the texture. You might also try a tablespoon of vodka or rum if you’re okay with adding alcohol. Hope you enjoy it!
Key Lime Pie Ice Cream
8 oz. cottage cheese
14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
5 oz. lime juice (or up to 6 if you like it really tart)
2 tbs. lime zest
1/4 cup light corn syrup
3 tbs. sugar
2 cups whipping cream
6 graham crackers
2 tbs. sugar
3 tbs. melted butter
1. Crush graham crackers to crumbs in a plastic bag and add sugar, salt, and butter. Mix in the bag until the crumbs are fully dampened with butter, then stash in the freezer.
2. Zest your limes– I used 4 to get 5 oz. of juice, but you may need more or fewer– and then juice them. Do not try to reverse these steps– it’s practically impossible to zest limes that have already been juiced!
3. Whip your cream to medium peaks– not too soft, but not so stiff that it starts to look curdled.
4. In a food processor (or an immersion blender would work too), combine cottage cheese, condensed milk, lime zest, lime juice, corn syrup, and sugar. Pulse until smooth.
5. Pour your lime mixture into the whipped cream bowl and fold together until no streaks of whipped cream remain.
6. Layer your cream mixture with handfuls of graham cracker crumbs in an airtight container. Freeze until firm.
Note: I may try making this again sometime, only using the actual ice cream maker to see if it works out. I figure that I wouldn’t whip the cream at all– just mix it into the lime/cottage cheese base and see what happens!