Have you ever had a really bad craving for ice cream? Instead of running down to the store for an ice cream fix, check your cupboards. If you have access to things like salt, ice, milk, sugar, and plastic bags, consider yourself in business. 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 and makes for an engaging classroom activity when learning about the states of matter – it shows a liquid changing to a solid by freezing, and then while they’re eating it, the solid changes back to a liquid by melting.
Makes one serving:
- 1/2 cup milk(any type), cream or half & half
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract or chocolate syrup
- lots of ice
- rock salt
- can be purchased in nearly any grocery store
- may be labeled as “cubed sodium chloride”
- you can also make your own rock salt from regular table salt
Plastic Bag Method
This is good for making individual servings of ice cream to be eaten promptly after making. The video below shows a slightly different recipe but still instructs on how to make ice cream with a sandwich bag.
- Mix sugar, milk or half & half, and flavoring in a bowl, then seal it in a quart-sized plastic bag.
- Take roughly two quarts of ice (crushed if possible) and place it into the gallon-sized bag with rock salt. Ideally, the gallon bag will be roughly half full with the ice and salt mixture.
- Place 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.
- Gently agitate, massage, and shake the bags for about ten to fifteen minutes. In this amount of time the contents of the quart (smaller) bag should start to turn into solid ice cream.As you agitate the two bags, 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.
- Remove the small bag from the large bag. Scoop the ice cream from the small bag and enjoy!
This 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 sorbtierre (a covered pail with a handle attached to the lid) which is a French adaptation of the pot-freezer method.
- Put the ice cream ingredients in a bowl.
- Put 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.
- Mix 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.
This method works best with a custard-based recipe, 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.
- Pour the ice cream mixture into a deep baking dish, or bowl made of plastic, stainless steel or something durable in the freezer.
- Put it in the freezer for 45 minutes.
- Check the mixture. When it starts to freeze at the edges, take it out and stir it vigorously with a spatula or whisk until all the ice crystals are broken up. If you can, use a whisk or a hand-held mixer.
- Check and stir every 30 minutes until the mixture turns into ice cream. This might take 2-3 hours.
- Put the ice cream mixture in the smaller coffee can. Seal tightly.
- Put the smaller coffee can in the big coffee can along with ice and rock salt. Seal the large can tightly.
- Shake 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. Continue shaking, rolling, or throwing until ice cream is formed.
This can only be done with a commercial product that mixes ice cream within a specially made ball with two chambers.
- Fill 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.
- Pour 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.
- Shake, roll, and pass the ball around for 10-15 minutes. The ball will probably be heavier than you expect.
- Open 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 scrape 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.
- Check 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.
- Shake, roll, and pass the ball around for 5-10 minutes.
- Check 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 milk instead of heavy cream and 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).
Things You’ll Need
- spatula, whisk, or hand-held mixer
- bag method: one gallon-size zip bag and one quart-size zip bag
- pot-freezer method: bowl and tub or hand-cranked ice cream maker
- freezer method: deep baking dish, or bowl made of plastic, stainless steel or something durable in the freezer
- coffee can method: two coffee cans, one fitting loosely into the other
- ball method: ice cream ball
- How to Make Lime Cream Sherbet
- How to Scoop Ice Cream
- How to Make Taiwanese Ice Cream
- How to Stop Brain Freeze
- How to Make an Ice Cream Cake
- How to Make Hard Chocolate for Ice Cream Topping
- How to Make a Knickerbocker Glory
- How to Make Strawberry Sorbet
- How to Make Caramel Apples
Sources and Citations
- ↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_cream
- ↑ http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2007/07/making_ice_crea_1.html
- ↑ http://icecreamrevolution.com/howtouse.html
- ↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colligative_property
- Product customer reviews – Source of advice on how to use ice cream ball.
Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Make Ice Cream. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.