We recently had ice cream day for “i” day of our ABC countdown to summer. Instead of buying ice cream, I decided we would make our own. I knew it would be a great memory-making activity for my students, and *bonus!* we could tie-in a how-to writing to go with it.
A couple tips: If you decide to try this (you really should!) don’t get too hung up on the kind of salt you use. I’ve make ice cream in bag plenty of times using plain table salt–but ideally, the chunkier the better (it lessens your chances of salty ice cream). Double bagging is also a smart move.
For my class of 18 students, a half gallon of whole milk and a quart of half and half made more than enough ice cream for all of us. I used a combination of half and half and whole milk, and the result was creamy, delicious goodness.
1 half gallon whole milk
1 quart half and half
ice cream salt or kosher salt
gallon-sized Ziploc baggies
quart or sandwich-sized Ziploc baggies
Start with 6 small Ziploc baggies. Pour 1 cup of half and half and 1 cup of whole milk into each. Add 3 Tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla to each bag. Seal them up well, taking care to remove as much air as possible. Double bag them to protect the ice cream from getting salty.
In 6 gallon-sized Ziploc baggies, fill slightly over halfway with ice (the picture below shows more ice than needed. I didn’t want to half to walk back to the school ice machine if I didn’t have enough!) Dump 1 cup of salt over the ice in each bag. Place the small, milk-filled baggies inside of the larger bags. Seal and double bag (they break open easily with little ones shaking).
Divide your students into groups. Give each group a bag to shake. Each student will shake the bag for a minute or so and then pass it to the next person. Their hands get cold quickly so lots of passing occurs! You can always wrap the gallon baggies in hand towels to keep your students’ hands from getting too cold.
After about 5-8 minutes, you will have the tastiest ice cream! Remove the bags of ice cream from the larger gallon bags and wipe them off. You can even give them a quick rinse for extra protection from saltiness. Divide the ice cream evenly into cups and enjoy!