What could be nicer than having a bowl of ice cream on a hot summer day? We don’t believe But if you don’t want to run to the local store or grocery store to buy a new tub, there is an easy way – and we mean really simple – you can make delicious ice cream right at home.
We spoke to Sarah Skaggs and Jessica Bailey, the BFF duo behind the Pretty Providence blog, to find out how to make ice cream with a few simple ingredients and a few plastic bags. “As children, we did this every summer – especially when camping,” they say. “It’s fun, requires only a few ingredients and also works as a science lesson if you explain a little about chemistry.”
You can check out their full recipe here, but Skaggs and Bailey walked us through the easy process. To make homemade ice cream, put a small bag of heavy cream and other ingredients in a larger bag that contains ice and salt. Then just shake the sachets for about 10 minutes and with a little magic (aka chemistry) your cream will turn into ice.
Kai Burkhardt / CNN
Make ice cream in stasher bags
If you are wondering how this works, you are not alone. So we asked Ben Van Leeuwen, CEO and co-founder of New York Scoop Shop Van Leeuwen, what makes this pocket method possible. “The bag method is possible because it mimics the continuous freezing process by venting the ice and quickly exposing it to a much colder surface,” he says. “The salt lowers the temperature of the ice cream to a level that freezes the water in the ingredients for the ice cream mix. This is a super easy and pretty good way to make homemade ice cream quickly with minimal equipment. ”
Kai Burkhardt / CNN
Ice cream in a bag
But does making ice cream in a bag compromise on taste? “It doesn’t turn out as smooth or creamy because the ingredients aren’t mixed or homogenized as well and they don’t freeze as quickly,” says Van Leeuwen. “With that in mind, I really love the results of this method. It’s refreshing and you can really enjoy the texture difference between this and factory-made ice cream. ”
Before you start shaking it, make sure you have all of the supplies you need to make ice cream fun and easy.
Ziploc gallon freezer bags for food storage
You want to get thick bags because you want to shake the mixture for a while and not have any leaks or breaks.
Ziploc Freezer Bag Quart
Skaggs and Bailey recommend double packaging your cream mix to prevent leakage.
Stasher Platinum Silicone Food Grade Reusable Storage Bag Stand-Up Mega
If you don’t want to use single-use plastic bags, you can do the same process with reusable stasher bags. This large stand bag offers plenty of space for a smaller bag.
Stasher Platinum Silicone Food Grade Reusable Sandwich Storage Bag
This little pouch closes tightly, but you should double check that it is completely sealed to avoid spilling your mixture.
Morton Salt Rock 4 pounds, 2-pack
This is the main ingredient in the process as the salt helps turn the cream into ice faster. If you can’t find ice cream salt, you can use kosher salt as well.
Homemade ice cream in a bag recipe
Now that you have everything you need (remember to stock up on ice!) You are ready to make ice cream. Pretty Providence’s recipe requires the following ingredients:
This is how Skaggs and Bailey make their delicious homemade ice cream.
- Pour the half and half, sugar, and vanilla into a sandwich-sized ziploc bag.
- Optional: add additional flavors or mixes, like chocolate syrup or crushed oreo cookies, to the bag and mix well.
- Eliminate as much air as you can before sealing tightly.
- After sealing that, put that in a second sandwich-sized Ziploc (we don’t want any leakage) and seal it tightly.
- Add ice and rock salt in the gallon bag, then add the sandwich bags with the ice cream mixture.
- Remove the air and seal the large bag.
- Squeeze and shake the bag until ice forms.
- Shake for 10 minutes for a thick milkshake consistency. Shake for 15 minutes for a harder ice cream.
- Take the filled bag out of other bags and enjoy!
Skaggs and Bailey say it’s important to be patient when you’re shaking. “Ten minutes can feel like a while if your arms aren’t used to shaking for so long,” they say. “Try making a game out of it (like hot potatoes) or our personal favorite, a dance party!”
We tried this recipe ourselves in both plastic bags and stasher bags. It was really a fun and super easy way to make delicious ice cream. The 10 minutes felt longer than we expected but if you have kids it would be a great backyard activity. One tip we’d like to add: wrap the bags in a towel or two as you shake them. So your hands don’t get so wet and cold.
As simple as that! Now you can skip the soft ice cream and grab your plastic bags, some ice and salt and shake it all summer for easy and tasty ice cream.
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