Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Coconut Ice Cream in a Bag + Regular Ice Cream in a Bag

At work, later this month, we'll run a quick Make-Your-Own-Ice Cream activity. We'll do some "make ice cream in a bag," and some with liquid nitrogen. It should be pretty fantastic. Today though, I'm only going to talk about making ice cream in a bag.

The process is pretty simple -- add milk/cream, sugar, vanilla/cocoa together in a zip-close sandwich bag & seal it, put that bag in another sandwich bag & seal it, and then put those in a freezer bag (I use quart, but most website seem to suggest gallon-sized) and add ice (you'll need a fair amount) and rock salt. Seal the freezer bag and shake until you get ice cream the consistency of soft serve. It takes 7-10 minutes and gloves come in handy because your hands get cold.

Coconut Ice Cream
You'll notice the double-sandwich bagging. If you buy cheap baggies (and even if you don't) there's a good chance one of them will break. Who wants salty ice cream? Probably not many people. The double-bagging helps prevent that, though it's not fool-proof either. When I made my batch of coconut-milk ice cream, the bag definitely split (but I also added more than I'm telling you to add, which was probably part of it, since as you'll remember from science classes, things that are water-based expand when they freeze.

The difference between these, aside from the taste and lactose? The coconut milk ice cream turned out a lot...grainier...than the ice cream made from regular milk, especially after I let it get really cold in the freezer overnight. However, if you're looking for a lactose-free option, it works pretty well and tastes a lot like the commercially-made coconut-based ice creams.

This is a fun recipe to make with kids and is something that you can do on your own (at least it's a little workout before you eat your ice cream? At least you know what goes into the ice cream?) if you're just having one of those days when something cold and creamy really appeals. 

Coconut Ice Cream in a Bag
1/2 cup coconut milk (because this is what I usually buy -- vanilla would work fine too)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sugar

Rock Salt
Ice cubes (I used about 1/2 pound, maybe a pound of ice)
1 quart-sized freezer bag
2 zip-top sandwich bags

Pour coconut milk, vanilla, and sugar into one zip-top sandwich bag, squeeze out most (but not all) of the air, seal. Place this bag in the second zip-top sandwich bag, again squeezing out most (but not all) of the air. Place both of these bags into the freezer bag, add ice to pretty much fill the bag (you may need to add more ice after some of it melts if your coconut milk hasn't turned into ice cream) and add 2 tablespoons rock salt. Seal the freezer bag and shake the bag vigorously until the milk turns the consistency of soft serve (about 7-10 minutes; add more ice and rock salt if necessary). Remove the bag with the ice cream in it from the other two bags, cut off one corner, and squeeze into a bowl to serve.

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Ice Cream in a Bag
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sugar

Rock Salt

Ice cubes (I used about 1/2 pound, maybe a pound of ice)
1 quart-sized freezer bag
2 zip-top sandwich bags

Pour milk, vanilla, and sugar into one zip-top sandwich bag, squeeze out most (but not all) of the air, seal. Place this bag in the second zip-top sandwich bag, again squeezing out most (but not all) of the air. Place both of these bags into the freezer bag, add ice to pretty much fill the bag (you may need to add more ice after some of it melts if your milk hasn't turned into ice cream) and add 2 tablespoons rock salt. Seal the freezer bag and shake the bag vigorously until the milk turns the consistency of soft serve (about 7-10 minutes; add more ice and rock salt if necessary). Remove the bag with the ice cream in it from the other two bags, cut off one corner, and squeeze into a bowl to serve.

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