Despite the 12-word recipe title, there are actually only two things you need to know about these sundaes. The ice cream is made with goat’s milk dulce de leche – a.k.a. cajeta – and it is probably the single simplest and most delicious thing I have ever made. Like, couldn’t-put-the-spoon-down, scraping-every-last-drop-out-of-the-jar, expletive-inducingly good. I’m going to tell you a bunch of other things now, but just know that if cajeta isn’t already in your life, you need to buy a quart of goat’s milk and get to it.
So, I made the dulce de leche and it was amazing. I could have just kept eating it with a spoon, but, in the spirit of experimentation, I figured there had to be a way to better showcase this incredible, new-to-me flavor. Earlier this summer, I’d come across recipes for no-churn ice creams, which used whipped cream as a base and then folded in sweetened condensed milk and flavorings. They originally caught my eye because I don’t have an ice cream machine, but it occurred to me during my brainstorming/extended taste testing that the same technique might work with dulce de leche substituted for the sweetened condensed milk. The internet quickly confirmed that I was not the first person with this idea. Whatever.
It took nearly overnight for the ice cream to fully freeze, but I couldn’t wait more than four hours to try my first scoop. The flavor of the goat’s milk dulce de leche came through clearly and was just as delicious as it had been straight from the jar – more complex than cow’s milk and just slightly tangy.
Though it really needs no adornment, perfectly ripe peaches add an irresistibly seasonal touch, and cookie crumbles add extra flavor and crunch. Since I added a cinnamon stick to the dulce de leche as it cooked – a traditional touch, which I highly recommend – I used crisp, spiced ginger cookies for my crumbles, but any crunchy cookie would work. You could certainly make your own cookies, but in the spirit of the final days of summer I decided to skip turning on my oven.
No-Churn Dulce de Leche Ice Cream with Peaches and Cookie Crumbles
- 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cup dulce de leche or cajeta (see recipe below)
- Peaches, sliced
- Crisp cookies (I used thin gingersnaps), crumbled
- Optional: flaky salt
To make ice cream: Combine the heavy cream and dulce de leche in a large bowl. Whip until soft peaks form. Taste the mixture and add more salt or dulce de leche, to taste. I added a pinch more salt and a few spoonfuls of dulce de leche.
Transfer the mixture to a covered container and freeze until solid, at least 5 hours but ideally more. Mine wasn’t fully firm until the following day.
To serve, arrange peach slices in bowls and top with ice cream and cookie crumbles.
Very slightly adapted from Rick Bayless
Yields about 1 1/2 cups
- 1 quart goat’s milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1-inch piece of a cinnamon stick (optional)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
Combine the milk, sugar, cinnamon stick, and salt in a heavy pot over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the milk comes to a simmer and remove from the heat. Dissolve the baking soda in two teaspoons of water and stir into the milk mixture. Once the bubbling subsides, return to the heat and bring to a brisk simmer.
Cook the mixture unto it thickens and reaches a dark caramel color. Stir every 10 minutes or so for the first hour and then more frequently as the mixture cooks down, to prevent sticking. You can cook it at a bit higher temperature at the beginning to speed things up but you’ll likely need to drop it down toward the end. Your total cooking time will vary, but mine needed about 90 minutes on the stove.
Allow the mixture to cool all the way down in the fridge before using for ice cream. This recipe makes about 1 ½ cups and can be doubled, if you dare to keep this stuff around.