Make this no-churn Mexican vanilla ice cream with a grilled pineapple topping to serve at your next summer gathering!
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Summer and parillada season is upon us, and I love to serve a dessert that feels special like fireworks at the end of the evening — but without too much fuss.
I was browsing recipes at El Mejor Nido for summer dessert inspiration and came across an easy homemade strawberry ice cream that looked divine. I love the idea of making homemade ice cream with fresh seasonal fruit, but I don’t have an ice cream maker.
So instead, I created this no-churn version of a Mexican vanilla ice cream with a grilled pineapple topping. Sweetened condensed milk folded into freshly whipped cream is the key to this dish, and there’s a surprise ingredient — a very small amount of tequila — that helps keep the ice cream easy to scoop. The only real skill you’ll need is patience while it freezes!
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Mexican vanilla beans have a signature creamy flavor and a unique woody spice profile different from other kinds of vanilla. If you’re not able to buy real Mexican vanilla beans, you can substitute liquid Mexican vanilla extract. Did you know Mexico is considered the birthplace of vanilla? The people of Totonacapan (known as Totonacs) were the first to cultivate the vanilla orchid. Most of Mexico’s vanilla cultivation is in Papantla, Veracruz.
Grilling the pineapple brushed with sweetened condensed milk also gives it a little oomph — the sugar caramelizes and helps get grill marks without over-grilling the fruit.
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Because this ice cream is made from a whipped cream and sweetened condensed milk base, it will melt fairly quickly, so it’s best to dole out small portions.
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Make this no-churn Mexican vanilla ice cream with a grilled pineapple, cinnamon and piloncillo topping for a delicious summer dessert!
- ICE CREAM:
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons tequila blanco
- 2 ½ teaspoons Mexican vanilla extract or the seeds of 1 Mexican vanilla bean
- 14 ounces of La Lechera sweetened condensed milk
- PINEAPPLE TOPPING:
- 4 slices fresh pineapple, about ¾ to 1-inch each (will yield 2 cups when grilled and chopped)
- 2 tablespoons La Lechera sweetened condensed milk
- 1 ounce piloncillo
- 1 Mexican cinnamon stick
- FOR ICE CREAM: In a mini food processor, add 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream, 2 teaspoons tequila blanco and 2 ½ teaspoons Mexican vanilla extract. Process until whipped cream forms, about 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to process too long or it will get very thick as it starts to form into butter. Use a spatula to spoon the whipped cream into a mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and ½ tablespoon tequila blanco and repeat steps above until it becomes whipped cream. Use a spatula to empty the food processor cup into the mixing bowl.
- Gently and slowly pour the sweetened condensed milk into the mixing bowl, using the spatula to fold it into the whipped cream. Be sure to be gentle because if you aren’t, the whipped cream will deflate too much and look soupy.
- Once all the sweetened condensed milk is incorporated, pour into a standard size loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap first, then aluminum foil, and freeze for 8 hours.
- FOR PINEAPPLE TOPPING: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, or heat a grill pan over high heat on the stove.
- Slice a fresh pineapple into ¾ to 1-inch thick slices, leaving the skin on. Using a pastry brush, glaze one size of the pineapple with sweetened condensed milk and place it on the hot grill to sear for about 3-4 minutes or until the pineapple has grill marks.
- Glaze the other size of the pineapple with sweetened condensed milk and flip the pineapple to grill for another 3-4 minutes, or until the pineapple has grill marks.
- Remove the pineapple and stack on a plate or platter to allow it to rest and cool slightly for about 15 minutes. Some juices will run off the pineapple during the cooling time.
- Once the pineapple is cool, transfer to a cutting board, cut the skin off, remove the core and chop the pineapple into little bite-sized pieces.
- In a saucepan, pour the reserved juice, add the pineapple, 1 ounce of piloncillo and 1 Mexican cinnamon stick. Heat over medium heat until it comes to a slight boil and then turn down to a simmer.
- After 15 minutes, remove the cinnamon stick and discard. Continue to simmer for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The liquid should reduce slightly.
- Remove from the heat and allow to come to room temperature before either serving on top of the ice cream immediately or reserving in an airtight jar and refrigerating.
Cook time listed is for time in freezer. Active and inactive prep time is 1 hour.
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