Don't go running down to the store or market for an ice cream fix. If you have salt, ice, milk, sugar, and plastic bags, consider making it yourself. This article will cover several different methods for making ice cream at home. This is also a great activity to do with children of any age. Here's how to do it.
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (if you want it to be extra sweet,use 2 teaspoon)
- Alternate flavor: if you want chocolate ice cream, add 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
- 4-6 tablespoons of salt
- 2 trays of ice
Freezer Bag Method
- 1This is good for making individual servings of ice cream to be eaten promptly after making. The video at the bottom of this article shows how to make ice cream with a sandwich bag.
- 2Take roughly two quarts of ice, crushed if possible, and place it into the gallon-sized bag with rock salt (also known as coarse salt). Ideally, the gallon bag will be roughly half full with the ice and salt mixture.
- 3Place the sealed quart-sized bag with the ingredients into the gallon-sized bag. Make sure the bags stay sealed. Do not allow the contents to mix at any time. If the bags don't seal sufficiently, use duct tape to seal the top of both bags to ensure they don't open during shaking.
- 4Gently agitate, massage, and shake the bags for about fifteen to twenty minutes. In this amount of time the contents of the quart bag should start to turn into solid ice cream. It is important that you are mixing the contents of the inner bag, but you don’t want to be so aggressive that you burst the inner bag or cut it on the ice. Double-bagging should prevent this. If your hands get uncomfortably cold, use a towel or an old t-shirt to hold the bags as you massage them; they will be quite cold and might become slippery with accumulated condensation. Consider using gloves or massaging while holding onto the top seal if a towel or similar cloth is not available.
- 5Remove the finished ice cream from the sandwich bag and serve.
- 1This is how ice cream was typically made before modern refrigeration, using ice cut from lakes and ponds. Hand-cranked ice cream machines are a variation of the sorbetière (a covered pail with a handle attached to the lid) which is a French adaptation of the pot-freezer method.
- 2Put the ice cream ingredients in a bowl.
- 3Put the bowl in a tub filled with ice and salt. Make sure the ice and salt mixture doesn't spill over the edges or into the bowl.
- 4Mix the ingredients of the bowl vigorously. The salty ice water will absorb heat from the mixture, bringing it below the freezing point of water and turning the mixture into ice cream. It's important to mix as thoroughly as you can to prevent the formation of ice crystals. If you can, use a whisk or better yet, a hand-held mixer.
- 5Remove ice cream from the bowl and serve.
- 1This method works best with a custard-based recipe that incorporates eggs, because the result will be much smoother. Since it involves a good bit of waiting, however, it may not be the most immediately gratifying for kids.
- 2Pour the ice cream mixture into a deep baking dish, or bowl made of plastic, stainless steel or something durable in the freezer.
- 3Put it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- 4Check the mixture. When it starts to freeze at the edges, take it out and stir it vigorously with a spatula until all the ice crystals are broken up. If you can, use a whisk or a hand-held mixer.
- 5Check and stir every 30 minutes until the mixture turns into ice cream. This might take 2-3 hours.
Coffee Can Method
- 1This is very similar to the bag method, except instead of using two bags, you use two coffee cans, one bigger than the other.
- 2Put the ice cream mixture in the smaller coffee can. Seal tightly.
- 3Put the smaller coffee can in the big coffee can along with ice and rock salt. Seal the large can tightly.
- 4Shake the large can vigorously for about 10 minutes. Kids can roll or throw it around, but make sure the cans are sealed well and do it outside, just in case. Check the small to see if the mixture has turned into ice cream yet. If you see ice crystals forming, stir or whisk.
- 5Continue shaking, rolling, or throwing until ice cream is formed.
- 1This can only be done with a commercial product that mixes ice cream within a specially made ball with two chambers.
- 2Fill the ice end with with ice and 1/2 cup of rock salt (3/4 cup if using the larger size ball) and close by hand.
- Standard ice cubes may not fit. You might need crushed ice.
- You'll probably need at least 10 ice trays' worth of ice.
- 3Pour the ice cream mixture into the end with a metal cylinder. Leave an inch (2.5cm) at the top for expansion and close by hand.
- 4Shake, roll, and pass the ball around for 10-15 minutes. The ball will probably be heavier than you expect.
- 5Open the ice cream end with the plastic wrench that comes with the ball. Scrape the sides of the cylinder with a plastic or wooden spoon (metal will damage the cylinder). Close the lid by hand.
- Since the chamber is narrow and deep, stirring the ice cream might be difficult. If necessary, use the wooden handle of a spoon or spatula.
- 6Check the ice end. Open the lid with the plastic wrench. Pour out any water and add more ice and up to 1/3 cup of rock salt. Close the lid by hand.
- 7Shake, roll, and pass the ball around for 5-10 minutes.
- 8Check the ice cream. Repeat the above steps as needed, or eat the ice cream as is.
- When you pour the ice cream out, be careful that it doesn't spill into the raised decorative ledges and tight crevices; these may be very difficult to clean later on, especially if you use chocolate chips.
- The ice cream tends to be "soupy" in the middle and solid along the edges.
- For older students, have them connect the ice cream making process to colligative properties.
- If you can, use larger salt crystals (e.g. rock salt). Larger salt crystals take more time to dissolve in the water around the ice, which allows for even cooling of the ice cream.
- If you prefer a lower calorie ice cream that is not as rich, use artificial sweetener instead of sugar. You can also experiment with other types of milk.
- Flavor combinations are almost limitless. Chocolate syrup is a basic option. Don’t be afraid to add your favorite fruits or nuts! Various flavor extracts that are available in your grocery store's baking section can lead to more exotic variations. Try combining mint extract with chocolate, or adding small chocolate chips.
- If you use blueberries, crush them first. Whole blueberries will become little rocks rather than mixing nicely with the ice cream.
- For large groups, mix several quarts of ice cream mix and divide it into bags, rather than having each individual child mix their own (that gets messy).
- When you use the mixer that has the removable canister, put the canister in the freezer overnight. Then put it straight into the mixer, and the mix into the canister while it is still very cold. This cuts down on ice crystals, and gives a smoother ice cream