Plastic Bag Ice Cream

This is an innovative way to combine science and cooking to end up with something delicious!

This recipe doesn’t involve any special machines or cooking so it is child-friendly and easy to make.

The end product is vanilla ice cream but you can get creative and add other flavors too. This recipe makes about eight one half cup servings, enough for a whole party of kids!

Ingredients needed:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Around 4 cups of coarse rock salt (I would get a whole bag because the portions needed vary)
  • Around 1 bag crushed ice (Again the portions vary)
  • two gallon sized and two pint sized bags per person (This may seem like a lot but trust me the mess is worth avoiding)
  • A dish towel or gloves for every person (The bag gets very cold and needs constant motion)

In a large bowl or measuring cup mix together the heavy whipping cream, half-and-half, vanilla extract, and sugar until the sugar is fully dissolved.

Next using a measuring cup pour about one half of a cup to a cup of the mixture into one of the pint-sized plastic bags. The less you put in the bag the less ice/salt you will need and the faster it will solidify. Next put the second pint sized bag around the one containing the liquid and be sure to seal them both tight or else the salty water will get into the mixture. Also be sure to squeeze out all of the extra air in all the bags so there is more contact to the cold ice.

Now it is time to prepare the ice bag. Fill one gallon-sized plastic bag about halfway with ice. Next pour in about one half of a cup of  the coarse rock salt and mix it around a little. Why are we putting salt in with the ice you ask? With the right combination of salt to ice the temperature can actually reach -10 degrees Celsius (around 5 degrees Fahrenheit)! This happens because the salt actually lowers the freezing temperature of the ice! Then place the double bagged mixture into the first gallon bag and make sure it is submerged it the ice bath. Next put the second gallon bag around that and make sure that the openings all line up for easy access. (Remember to squeeze out the air!)

Now you are ready to transform the liquid into ice cream! Put on the gloves or wrap the towel around the bag and start shaking! You can get creative with how you keep the bag in continuous motion but be careful not to spill the contents, if you do tiny salt crystal will form EVERYWHERE. It usually takes around five minutes for a correctly rationed bag to solidify. If after ten minutes and the liquid still isn’t hardening put more salt into the ice mixture, feel free to do this as many times as necessary.

Once you think it is ready to eat remove the pint-sized bags from the ice and be sure to take the outer one off before opening it all the way, you don’t want salty ice cream! You can save the ice mixture for another round even if it is melted. Enjoy!



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