Sweet tips for making ice cream in a bag

You don't need a commercial machine to make the real thing.

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  • | 11:11 a.m. July 9, 2014
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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Many of my childhood summer memories are based on cranking the handle of ice-cream makers at picnics and family reunions. Nowadays, when you ask kids about ice cream, they are more likely to associate it with the cold, hazy cloud coming out of the supermarket freezer than with the sound of ice swirling around in an ice-cream maker on a hot summer evening.

You don’t need a commercial machine to make the real thing. For an unconventional method, use plastic bags, a simple old-fashioned recipe and your kids’ energy. Here’s the latest scoop on how to make a basic, no-cook vanilla ice cream.


1 gallon-size sturdy, zipper-style plastic bag

2 pint-size zipper-style plastic bags

Several cups of crushed ice to fill the large bag halfway full

1/2 cup coarse salt such as kosher salt, or rock salt for ice cream


1 cup half-and-half cream, or mix half-and-half cream with heavy whipping cream

½-teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons sugar

  1. Stir together cream, vanilla and sugar in a bowl. Add an optional extra if you wish. Pour into one of the smaller bags. Press out as much air as possible, then seal it. Slip that bag into a second pint-size bag, release air and seal.
  2. Scoop enough ice into the larger bag to generously cover the bottom. Sprinkle some salt over the ice. Set the small sealed bags inside the large bag, then add more ice and salt. Release air and seal.
  3. Hold the large bag with both hands and turn it over and over, massage it, and gently shake it consistently for 15 minutes. Since it will feel very cold, you may wish to wrap it in a towel or wear mittens as you work.
  4. When the mixture turns into ice cream, carefully unseal the outer pintsize bag before opening the inner bag, making sure that ice and salt don’t get into your batch of ice cream. Spoon into bowls and enjoy. If you wish to eat it later, spoon it into a storage container and put into the freezer.

Tip: Add optional extras such as 1/4 cup crushed ripe strawberries or peaches, mini chocolate chips or a squirt of chocolate syrup

Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit donnasday.com and link to the new Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.” © 2014 Donna Erickson Distributed by King Features Synd.


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