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Getty Images / The recipe for no-churn ice cream calls for the peaches to be diced and slightly mashed to release their juices, but they may be left chunkier, depending on personal preference.

Homemade ice cream is a treat, but what a production it can be, particularly if you wait until the last minute and forget to freeze the ice cream canister. Then, there's making the custard, straining the custard, cooling it down then churning it before you even begin to freeze it. It's a labor of love and definitely a satisfying process if you're the kind of person who enjoys spending that much time in the kitchen.

Occasionally, you just don't have the time. And that's assuming you have an ice cream maker to start with and don't have to add on the time and expense of going to the store to buy one.

That's where no-churn ice cream comes in. I make this ice cream in a food processor, but you can also use a stand mixer. There's no substitute for heavy cream if you want good flavor and texture. Then add sweetened condensed milk, your fruit or other flavoring of choice and cream cheese, which helps to reduce ice-crystal formation. That's all it takes.

Thanks to your food processor, no-churn ice cream is not only easy to make, it's also incredibly creamy, smooth and delicious, as all good ice cream should be.

Assembly takes just five minutes once you have your ingredients assembled. As with all ice cream, though, the waiting is the hardest part: You need to let it freeze for at least six hours, preferably overnight.

This recipe is very adaptable. I love cherries, but summer peaches, blueberries, so many of the fruits of summer will work. This easy ice cream may become your secret guilty pleasure.

For the freshest summer fruits, check in with your closest farmers market or mark your calendar for Chattanooga Market's Red, White & Blueberries celebration on July 3 and the Peach Festival on July 10 (chattanoogamarket.com). Nashville's Peach Truck (thepeachtruck.com) is taking orders for 25-pound boxes of peaches to be delivered fresh from Georgia farms on July 9 at four locations around Chattanooga.

(READ MORE: Chattanooga-area farmers markets prepping for the season's first crops)

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Getty Images / No-churn ice cream is easy to make, creamy, smooth and delicious.

No-Churn Ice Cream

1 pound fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced (or fruit of choice)

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 

1 (8-ounce) ounce block of cream cheese

2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Using a food processor, pulse the peaches until they are pea-size chunks. Alternatively, dice the peaches by hand and, in a large bowl, lightly mash them to release juices. Cover with a towel, and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer, mix together the sweetened condensed milk, heavy whipping cream, cream cheese and vanilla on a medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the peaches until just combined.

Pour the mixture into a bread pan or other freezer-safe container, and cover with plastic wrap, allowing wrap to lie directly on top of the ice cream mixture. This will keep the ice cream from forming crystals on the top. Freeze at least 4 hours for soft-serve ice cream or 6 hours and up to overnight for firmer ice cream, then scoop away!

Contact Anne Braly at abraly@timesfreepress.com or annebraly.com.

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Anne Braly
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