This genius soft-serve ice cream recipe was inspired by the Spanish chef Ferran Adrià of el Bulli, who made an ingenious ice cream by blending frozen fruit with sugar and fromage blanc — no ice cream maker needed. I like to swap in sweetened condensed milk to make the recipe even more accessible. The creamy, sherbet-style dessert is one for the ages: It uses just four ingredients and comes together with a quick whirl of the food processor.
I make my version of chocolate shell (a sauce that quickly hardens when poured over cold things) with coconut oil to give it additional flavor and the best-ever texture. You can make your own ice cream or slice it right from pints for the easiest sandwiches ever.
The soft-serve can be frozen for up to 3 days. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving. The chocolate shell can be stored at room temperature for 2 weeks.
Technique tip: Chopped bars of chocolate melt better than chocolate chips, which yields a smoother chocolate shell. Using a large, serrated bread knife is easiest for cutting the ice cream pints into slabs. For the ice cream: If using mangos or strawberries, cut them into chunks before freezing, that way they’re easier to puree in the food processor.
Swap option: Extra-virgin olive oil can be used instead of coconut oil. It must be extra-virgin to work properly. You can use blueberries, strawberries, or mangoes for this easy soft-serve.
Special kitchen equipment: Food processor
For the Almost-Instant Soft-Serve Ice Cream:
In a food processor, pulse the fruit with the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and a generous pinch of salt until the fruit is finely chopped. Puree until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes; scrape down the side of the bowl as needed. Serve soft or transfer to a metal baking pan, cover and freeze until just firm.
For the Ice Cream Sandwiches with DIY Chocolate Shell:
In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the chopped chocolate with the coconut oil at high power in 20-second intervals, stirring between bursts. Stir in a generous pinch of salt and let stand at room temperature until cooled before pouring over ice cream.
If using store-bought ice cream, with a large, serrated knife, cut the pint container(s) of firm ice cream into 3/4-inch-thick rounds. Cut slits in the cardboard, then sandwich each slice between 2 cookies; peel off the carboard to reveal the ice cream sandwiches. If using homemade ice cream, place a generous scoop between 2 cookies.
Immediately dip the cold ice cream sandwiches into the chocolate shell and let set. Serve right away or freeze.