Friday, June 17, 2011

Making Ice Cream

Have you ever seen this ice cream maker before? My mom bought this ice cream ball for the kids for Christmas last year and we had not used it yet. You can buy this at LL Bean, REI, or even on Amazon. It is marketed as a great way to make ice cream at the beach or out camping - I think that is crazy. However, it is the perfect activity for an afternoon at Camp Brighton.

For little people, I would consider this a two-day adventure. Day 1 - make the custard (ice cream base) and let it chill in the fridge overnight. Day 2 - roll the ice cream ball and enjoy the yummy ice cream.

Group whisking...
Yesterday afternoon, we prepared the custard - very simple recipe but, since it involves the stove, I let the kids do the measuring and I did the cooking.

Ingredients for Sweet Cream Ice Cream:

1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup sugar
3 egg yolks


Combine the heavy cream, half and half, and sugar in a saucepan. Heat over low to medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks.

Gradually add the warm cream mixture into the egg yolks - stirring the entire time. Don't pour too much at a time or you will cook the eggs. After you have added most of the cream into the eggs, pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan.

Heat the combined mixture over medium-low heat. Stir constantly. In about 5 to 10 minutes, the cream mixture will have thickened sufficiently. You will know the custard is thick enough when you can draw a line down the back of the spoon and it stays clear.

Refrigerate the custard for at least a few hours - we let it chill overnight. The process will be much quicker if the custard is chilled.

Making the Ice Cream in the Rolling Ball...

Rock salt is ideal for this project but sea salt or kosher salt would work as well. The rolling ball has two openings - one opening is filled with ice and 1 cup of rock salt. The other opening is the insulated canister where you pour your prepared custard.

Fill the end with ice and salt first. Secure the lid very tightly.

Turn the ball over and pour the custard into the canister. We added 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips to our basic sweet cream custard recipe to make chocolate chip ice cream.

Rolling the ball
Have the kids take turns rolling the ball around. Do not kick the ball, do not throw the ball. We rolled the ball on a mat just in case there were any unexpected leaks. The directions say to check the ball after fifteen minutes - because our custard was pre-chilled, it probably was ready in less than 15 minutes.

The ice cream is ready!
Using a wooden or a plastic spoon, scrape down the sides of the canister and transfer to a serving bowl or directly to your little helpers. Enjoy!

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