I have another no-churn ice cream recipe for you guys today!
I have really embraced the no-churn method over the past couple years.
While I still think that traditionally churned ice cream is the absolute champ when it comes to overall texture and creaminess, the no-churn approach is growing on me big time. It’s so quick and easy and doesn’t require any fancy equipment or planning.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to make homemade churned ice cream and my ice cream machine bowl isn’t frozen. Womp womp. This method is so easy and doesn’t require any thinking ahead.
I have made several no-churn ice creams at this point, and I have a hard time picking a favorite. Until now.
This key lime pie flavor is my new fave. It is EVERYTHING.
I have said it once and I’ll say it again: I love anything citrus when it comes to dessert. The tangier the better.
Lemon bars? Sign me up. Key lime pie? I always order it if it’s an option. When we were in Italy a few years ago, I would always order a citrus gelato. Dan and the friends we were traveling with always laughed at my choice. They would go for the more indulgent double chocolate or salted caramel. Me? Lemon, blood orange, grapefruit, or lime all the way. I just can’t get enough of that tangy-sweet combo.
So this ice cream was an eventual must. I’ve been dreaming up this recipe for awhile now, and I’m incredibly excited to share it with you!
It tastes like a creamier, colder version of key lime pie. And this is how we make it.
Sweetened condensed milk, tons of fresh lime zest and juice (like a lot), a touch of salt, and a little vanilla are the base for this ice cream. To achieve the ice cream consistency and creaminess, we stir in lots of freshly whipped cream. It makes it light and airy and just…dreamy.
Just like it does with everything you add it to.
The last step is to fold in some graham cracker crumbs. To mimic the crust of key lime pie! Not only does this add amazing flavor and texture, but it also really rounds things out and makes this taste like the classic pie experience.
We fold the crumbs in and then place the mixture into a baking dish. Smooth it out and then let it freeze for several hours. Four hours minimum. Longer is actually better to get that true ice cream texture.
The waiting is the hardest part of the recipe, by far.
When it’s nice and firm, you scoop it up into cones or bowls and serve!
I like to garnish it up a little bit more just for fun. I do another sprinkling of graham cracker crumbs (I really can’t get enough) and maybe a few little key lime slices for cute garnish. Some lime zest for a fresh punch of flavor.
This is everything I want in a summer dessert.
Cool and refreshing, super tangy and sweet, and absolutely delicious. Just like key lime pie!
No-churn for the win!Print
This No-Churn Key Lime Pie Ice Cream is a dream! All the flavors of key lime pie in ice cream form, all made without any fancy ice cream equipment. The method is quick and easy but the flavor is incredible. Tangy, creamy, refreshing, and sweet. All the things you know and love about key lime pie!
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (See NOTE)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups cold heavy cream
- 1 (15-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- Zest of 3 limes (roughly 2 tablespoons)
- ¾ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (this was 4 juicy limes for me)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Optional garnishes: additional lime zest and graham crackers
- Place the graham cracker crumbs in a bowl.
- Melt the butter and then stir into the graham cracker crumbs. Stir well to combine and then set aside to cool while you prep the other ingredients.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, lime zest, lime juice, vanilla, and salt. Mix until creamy and well combined – the lime juice may look separated at first. Keep mixing! It will all smooth out.
- Stir in roughly half of the whipped cream, gently folding it in so as not to deflate the cream.
- Stir in the remaining whipped cream and stir until everything is just combined.
- Fold in the graham cracker crumbs. I try not to overmix them in so that there are swirls of crumbs throughout the ice cream.
- Spread the mixture into an 8 x 8-inch or 9 x 9-inch baking dish, smooth out the top, and cover with plastic wrap.
- Place in the freezer for at least 4 hours – longer is better.
- To serve, allow the ice cream to sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften slightly. Scoop into bowls or cones and garnish with a sprinkling of lime zest and graham cracker crumbs (optional step!).
- You can buy graham cracker crumbs or easily make them yourself by placing whole graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulsing them until fine crumbs form. For 1 cup of crumbs, it’s usually 5 or 6 whole crackers.
- This recipe can be made with either regular lime juice/zest or key lime juice/zest. I’ve made it both ways – they are equally delicious. I do think working with regular limes is easier because they are larger and have more zest/juice per lime. If using key limes, I recommend going by the measured quantities in the recipe (2 tablespoons of zest and ¾ cup of juice) – the actual amount of key limes this requires will be more than what is listed in the recipe.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 hours (inactive freezing time)
- Category: ice cream
Keywords: no-churn key lime pie ice cream, no-churn ice cream recipes, key lime pie ice cream recipe, key lime pie ice cream