Winter experiments: Making ice cream from snow

When I was a little girl my granny Cleo would make fresh ice cream out of the freshly fallen snow. I can clearly recall sitting in her living room anxiously awaiting for the snow to accumulate so we could scoop off the top layers without fear of getting anything but clean, fresh snow. Then, we would giddily take it to the small, yellow kitchen where Granny Cleo taught me how to make snow cream.

Delicious vanilla flavoured snow cream.
Delicious vanilla flavoured snow cream.

It was a fun time of year when I could share something special, and now I’m passing it on to you, my new family at Insanitek, to share with your families. Make snow falls special with fresh, delicious snow cream.

What you’ll need for a basic ice cream

This makes about 1 quart or 4 cups of snow cream.

  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of half and half
  • 1/2 cup of milk (we used skim below, but any will do)
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla
  • Fresh snow to texture (about 5C works well)

Mix the sugar, milk, half and half, and vanilla in a large bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Then, go outside and collect the fresh snow, adding to the bowl a little at a time and mixing it in. Keep adding the snow until you get the texture of ice cream you want. Divide into servings and eat immediately or store in a freezer safe container until you’re ready to eat it.

I prefer to use a metal bowl in the snow for mixing so things stay frozen.
I prefer to use a metal bowl in the snow for mixing so things stay frozen.

Oh, I forgot to mention that it’s super easy to make while being really inexpensive and fun. 🙂

It’s actually so easy, cheap and fun that you can make a lot of variations. Here are some of the ones I’ve toyed with and a brief note as to their results:

  • Using all milk — not as creamy, but still delicious.
  • Using all half and half — creamier, but a little too sweet for my taste.
  • Using heavy cream — very nearly like store bought ice cream, but still too sweet.
  • Replacing 1/4C of the half and half with eggnog — HEAVENLY.
  • Using imitation rum instead of vanilla — icky. Apparently rum does not go with ice cream…. who’d have thought?

I’d really like to try tossing in fruit pieces some time. I don’t think I’d try chocolate unless I was eating it right away.

Further research

Now, it’s your turn to play around with this experiment. What’s your favourite flavours? Did you prefer one type of milk over another? How about the balance of cream, flavoured drinks, or other additives? Make some and send in your experiment for publishing!

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