No Churn Grapefruit Gelato Recipe

Grapfruit Gelato

No Churn, Easy and Five Minute Prep. THIS is the answer to that age-old dilemma – what to bring to a party that will surprise and delight.

You have a soiree to attend tomorrow. “What can I bring?” you ask. “Oh, just a little something for dessert,” they reply. You want to bring something homecrafted – some kind of ice cream would be great, but you don’t have an ice cream maker. What to do?

You spend a grand total of 5 minutes prepping this mock-gelato, that’s what. And then you’ll make it again and again and again. Really. Because it really is only 3 ingredients, it really does only take 5 to mix it up, you really don’t need an ice cream maker, and, best of all, it really does work.

I know it may sound a little weird, but trust us. We swear it will surprise you. Something about the way that the acid in the citrus reacts with the fat in the cream (and yes, you must use cream; we tried it with half & half and it just didn’t work texture-wise, though the flavor was still a total delight) creates a perfect dense, creamy texture that is so akin to gelato, though the technique is very different.

The original called for lemon, which is equally delicious, but there’s something about the subtle tang of the grapefruit here that Donna and I both were tickled by – so creamy & subtly tangy. It’s also incredibly rich. And it truly is amazing how well the texture comes out without churning! The whole thing is a revelation – and delight to your taste buds!


2 cups heavy cream or whipping cream
1 cup sugar
1 ruby red grapefruit, juiced and zested
1/2 tsp salt

You will need 1/4 cup of the grapefruit juice and as much of the zest as you like – we used 2 tablespoons. Whisk the juice and zest with the cream, sugar and salt, then pour it into a 9 by 9 inch square or round pan and freeze for at least 8 hours, ideally overnight.  That’s IT. Yes, really!

(Donna’s Note: This recipe is a result of kitchen synergy between Anne and I. The original recipe is from a friend, who asked me if I had ever heard of  “Five Minute Lemon Ice Cream.” I was thrilled and amazed after tasting it, and made it frequently. Then Anne and I were cooking together and she decided the grapefruit flavor would be a much more flavorful twist. To our delight,  it was even more amazing than lemon. Haven’t tried lime yet, hmmm . . . So, Patty – if you’re reading this – thank you!)

– posted by Anne


      • Danielle says

        Great! I hope it works out. I’m using this for a coffee tasting presentation for work tomorrow. In going to pair it with Kenyan coffee and pour the coffee over it affogato style. It’s an Italian tradition! I hope it impresses the panel!

        • says

          No, half and half is half milk, half cream. Whipping cream and heavy cream are the same or VERY close to the same, depending on the brand. Those two can be substituted for one another, but do not use half and half.

  1. Jill Subirats says

    This sounds like a refreshing treat for us down here in Miami where we get summer-like weather almost year round. I’d be interested in also trying the lemon version and adding some fresh basil to it. Or maybe lemon raspberry. Oh the possibilities……….


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