I remember the first time I was introduced to snow ice cream. Thinking that all of this snow outside would eventually turn into ice cream nearly made me forget that it was Christmas. The basic snow ice cream recipe dates back nearly 3,000 years ago to a wonderful place, China. Many things were invented in China. Umbrellas, glasses, fireworks, and you guessed it…snow ice cream. The Emperors of China were the first people, we know about who were lucky enough to get to eat snow ice cream. Their cooks mixed snow and ice from the mountains with fruit, wine and honey to make a tasty treat for their rulers to enjoy when they wanted to relax.
Today, it’s the perfect winter treat to temp those kids to come back inside. Just let them know that they get snow ice cream after they eat their greens first.
Here’s our recipe for a traditional snow ice cream treat. Don’t be afraid to tweak this out some with the addition of fruits and other delicious flavors to your liking.
1 large mixing bowl of *fresh, clean snow (not yellow). If possible, avoid the first snowfall of the year, the following snows are allegedly cleaner than the first.
1-2 cups of **organic or local milk. For this recipe we like to use our local providers, Homestead Creamery, who provide us with a nice, hearty whole milk. Any milk is fine here, but the thicker you get, the thicker your ice cream is going to be.
1-2 tsp. organic vanilla extract or other natural flavoring
1/2 – 1 c. organic sugar or some organic agave nectar to taste
*When it comes to the snow here, don’t hesitate to be picky. Snow essentially is just precipitation in the form of crystalline water ice, consisting of multiple snowflakes. Look for snow that has some consistency to it rather than being super fluffy and light. A good, thick and heavy snow seems to work best for this.
**Try putting the milk in the freezer about 30 minutes before you use it. This way the milk is super cold, nearly freezing and you won’t loose as much snow to melting.
Take your large bowl of snow and stir the snow around a bit to fluff it up. Now quickly stir in just enough milk to make the right consistency of ice cream. Start with about 1/2 cup and keep going until you have enough to make the snow creamy. If you add too much milk and it becomes runny, just add some more snow. Then stir in a little vanilla and sugar, and Viola, you’ve got yourself some homemade snow ice cream! You can also add some other flavoring such as chocolate, nuts, or other toppings, but we recommend having it plain at least the first time, it just tastes more snowy that way. The snow ice cream can be put in the freezer and saved for later, but it’s best served immediately.
This dish can also be made 100% vegan by substituting the milk with a dairy-free alternative such as a thick almond milk or blending with a soy creamer to thicken it up a touch.