Making ice cream at home is the perfect summer activity, especially if you have a group of children to entertain. Homemade ice cream is actually easy to make, and doesn't require a lot of fancy equipment. You don't even need an ice cream maker. This method uses two plastic bags; you can also use two different sizes of coffee cans. Here's how to make ice cream at home:
Ingredients and supplies:
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for vanilla ice cream (preferably real, although imitation can be used)
- 1 teaspoon chocolate syrup, if chocolate ice cream is desired
- Lots of ice, crushed or in cubes
- Rock salt
- Heavy duty sealable plastic bags, 1 quart size and 1 gallon size per person
- Mix the ingredients. Mix the ingredients (milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and chocolate syrup) in a bowl. Then, seal them inside a plastic bag. If you are making ice cream for a group, the ingredients can even be mixed right inside the bag. Seal the quart bag with the ice cream ingredients. If the bags seem weak, double bag them. It is very important that none of the salt-ice mixture gets into the ice cream, or vice-versa.
- Assemble the gallon bag. Place about two quarts of ice and a cup of rock salt into the gallon sized zip bag. For best results, use crushed ice and rock salt, although you can also use ice cubes and table salt. The exact amounts are not important, but the bag should be about half full with the ice and salt mixture. Place the sealed quart bag inside the gallon bag, and then seal the gallon bag. You can use tape to seal the bags to ensure that they don't open when you shake them.
- Shake the bag. Shake and massage the bags for about ten to fifteen minutes. Be gentle, so that the bags do not rip open. Still, the bags do need plenty of shaking, and the contents of the quart bag need to be mixed especially well for the ingredients inside to turn into ice cream. The ice will make your hands very cold, so you may want to hold the bags using gloves or wrap them in a towel or shirt.
- Remove the ice cream. Within 15 minutes, the ice cream inside should be done. Remove the quart bag from the gallon bag, and enjoy!
- Store the ice cream. Store any uneaten ice cream in the freezer in plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. Unlike store-bought ice cream, homemade ice cream should be eaten within a week or two, or ice crystals will develop, ruining the texture.
This same recipe can be doubled or tripled depending on how much ice cream you need. You can also stir in chopped candy bars, chocolate chips, crumbled cookies, or other flavorings, if desired. Be creative when coming up with your own ice cream flavors. Homemade ice cream uses only fresh ingredients, no artificial ingredients or preservatives.