To celebrate the end of summer, I met up with some fellow bakers in a local park, and made this extremely fast and easy version of ice cream. There are many recipes out there on the internet (I used one from Delish.com, which turned out great) but the process is always the same: fill a small bag with cream, sugar, and vanilla, seal it inside a larger bag containing ice and salt, and shake vigorously.
Salt lowers the freezing point of water, causing the ice to melt by absorbing heat from the cream mixture. This enables the ice cream to get very cold. Unsurprisingly, this cooking slash science activity is a hit with both kids and adults, and it’s also ideal for social distancing. A few of us brought our children, all under a year old, and the babies watched in fascination as we shook the bags to churn the ice cream. Once solid, we topped the ice cream with mini chocolate chips, toasted coconut, and candy.
Vanilla Ice Cream in a Bag
Adapted from Delish.com
1 cup half-and-half (I used an organic brand)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups ice
1/3 cup rock salt (sometimes labeled ice cream salt) or kosher salt
Chocolate chips, toasted coconut, M&Ms, or any toppings of your choice
- Combine half-and-half, sugar, and vanilla in a small resealable bag. Squeeze out excess air, and seal shut.
- Combine salt and ice in a large resealable bag, and place smaller bag inside. Seal large bag shut. Shake vigorously until ice cream turns solid; it may take up to 10 minutes.
- Scoop into cup or cone and sprinkle with favorite toppings. (Or eat ice cream straight out of the bag!)