Have you seen homemade ice cream recipes around the internet but never tried them? We decided to give them a go this week and had a lot of fun experimenting (and taste testing) to see what mix we liked best. It’s super easy and kid-friendly. That is, the kids will be doing it all rather than watching from the sidelines! And I’ve created a matching free reader, too.
What you’ll need
Instead of a fridge
- A large (gallon-sized) ziploc bag
- 4 cups of ice cubes
- 1/2 cup rock salt (any salt works, but the bigger the crystals the better)
Ice cream ingredients
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup thickened cream
- [OR 1/2 cup half and half if you’re in America]
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence / extract
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1 tablespoon chocolate bits (optional)
- 1 sandwich-sized ziploc bag.
To prevent frostbite
- 1 pair of winter gloves or thick cloth hand towels
Creating your homemade ice cream
Add half the ice to the large ziploc bag, add half the salt and shake (put aside for a minute).
Pour the milk, cream, vanilla essence and sugar into the smaller ziploc bag. Add the chocolate chips, too, if you’d like them.
Seal the bag firmly, expelling as much air as you can.
Put the ice cream mixture on top of the salted ice, then add the rest of the ice and salt on top, take out the air and seal the bags.
Put on some gloves and shake the bag for around 5 minutes, or until the mixture feels like the consistency of ice cream. We did 3 experiments and the time needed varied between 4 and 7 mins.
Take out the bag of ice cream and quickly rinse the salt off the outside under a cold tap.
Then, either eat straight out of the bag or snip a bottom corner and squeeze the ice cream out into a bowl.
Add sprinkles or other toppings!
When looking around the internet we found that different recipes asked for regular milk, cream or half and half so we decided to try all three! Why not!
Firstly, we tried with 1/2 cup of regular full cream milk. It wasn’t too bad, maybe a little icy and it needed a bit of kneading to smooth it out. Then we tried 1/2 cup of cream. The consistency was terrific and the flavour was good, but just a bit too creamy / heavy for our taste. So then we split the difference and used 1/4 cup cream and 1/4 cup milk (in Australia we don’t have ‘half and half’)… and it was perfect! The consistency and flavour was as if it had been scooped straight out of a commercial ice cream container. And not a cheap brand, either!
Below are pictures of the final results. Since cream plus sugar in a dish is not too healthy, feel free to try the regular milk version, your kids will still like it. Particularly with the novelty of making it first!
I hope you get to experience the joys of making ice cream in a bag. To help your child get more out of this activity I’ve created a free reader, making the words as simple as possible while remaining true to the ice cream making process.
You can download your ‘Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag’ printable here.