What if we told you that you could be enjoying fresh, homemade ice cream in as little as five minutes?
OK, maybe not five minutes from now, exactly. You might have to stock up on a few pantry staples first (e.g., cream, resealable plastic storage bags), but once you’ve got those? Yes, just five minutes. Best of all, you don’t even need an ice cream machine — just some solid upper-arm strength and an immediate desire for a frozen dessert.
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To start, you’ll need two zip-top bags of different sizes: a smaller one for your ingredients, and a larger one for ice and salt. Most recipes call for one-part sugar to four-parts liquid (usually light or heavy cream, or whole milk in a pinch), but the ratio can be adjusted for taste, depending on how sweet your sweettooth is. Add a dash of vanilla extract (or nuts, or chocolate chips, or anything, really), and you’re ready to start “churning.”
Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Pour your ingredients — sugar, cream, mix-ins/flavorings — in the smaller of the zip-top bags. Seal the bag, after expelling as much excess air as possible.
- Fill the larger bag with several cups of ice. (Start with three or four cups.) Add salt (or rock salt, if you have), then place the smaller bag — the one filled with the ingredients — into the larger bag. (If there’s too much excess room in the larger bag, add additional ice.) Seal the larger bag.
- Shake the larger bag vigorously for at least 5 minutes, in effect “churning” the ice cream as the outer layer of ice and salt rapidly cools the ingredients. (You may want to wear gloves, to keep your hands from getting too cold.)
- After 5 minutes, check the consistency of the ingredients. The consistency should somewhat resemble ice cream. If not, shake for an additional 5 minutes.
- Once at the desired consistency, remove the smaller bag and serve your homemade ice cream. If still too soft, transfer contents of bag into a sealable container and place in the freezer until firm.
Need a bit of inspiration? Lucky for you, there is no shortage of ice-cream-in-a-bag recipes available online. Here are a few of our favorites.
Oreo Ice Cream
Amanda and Ashley over at Fresh Simple Home are big fans of this no-churn Oreo ice cream recipe, which really doesn’t skimp on the Oreos. It's so good, they say it's become a nightly treat in their homes.
Easy Chocolate Ice Cream
Leigh Anne at Your Homebased Mom finds that kids really love to help making ice cream in a bag, especially if they get to add some of their own flavorings — like a few dashes of chocolate syrup. Check out the recipe here.
Strawberry Ice Cream
Mindy at Coco & Ash loves how quickly this "bag" method produces ice cream. She admits that the possibilities are "endless" when it comes to flavorings, but she's partial to this recipe for strawberry.