I'VE BEEN WANTING to do this post since winter began, but it takes one special ingredient that has strangely been lacking this year: SNOW. Only once this season have we been able to make this long-awaited treat. We put out a bowl to collect the sparkling white flecks, hoping the weather report would be correct and the snow would come. The snow never came. We got nothing. Nada. No snow. We kept our bowl out there for days. Then, slowly, we saw snow dancing from the sky, and our bowl began to fill. It was unlike snow that we usually receive. It was wet and heavy. Not soft and fluffy. We didn’t care. We took what we could get. It was time to make SNOW ICE CREAM!
We always made snow ice cream growing up, and have continued the tradition in my own family. It’s exciting for young and old; eating something that had fallen from the sky. You have to gobble it up quickly, though, before it turns into snow soup. But that’s just part of the fun.
I’ve made some changes over the years, but it’s basically made just like regular ice cream, sans eggs. Typical ice cream is made with milk and/or heavy cream, sugar and flavorings. It needs to be churned, then frozen. In this case, we eliminate the need for churning and freezing as we start with "cream" (snow) that’s already frozen.
To prepare for the excitement of making snow ice cream, lay a large bowl outside when there’s a chance of snow. It’s fun for kids to watch and keep checking to see how full the bowl becomes. Collect the rest of your ingredients so you’re ready when the snow comes inside; powdered sugar, evaporated milk and desired flavorings and toppings. I use powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar, as it dissolves quickly and easily, leaving behind no hint of graininess. Evaporated milk can be kept cold in the fridge, or used straight out of the can at room temperature. You can use regular milk, too, but evaporated milk provides some thickness and richness to the ice cream. For flavorings, you can use vanilla or almond extract. Also, we like to add jams and jellies for flavor and toppings. Just like regular ice cream, the topping possibilities are endless.
I confess, I never use a recipe, but for the sake of this post, I’ll provide one just for a guideline.
Snow Ice Cream
8 cups fresh snow*
¾ cup powdered sugar
½ cup evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
Add powdered sugar to bowl of snow, and stir well. Start with ½ cup of powdered sugar, adding more if you desire more sweetness. Slowly add evaporated milk until you achieve the consistency you desire. Keep it relatively thick, as it will melt faster than you can eat it! Add desired flavorings, and continue to mix. Quickly spoon into bowls, and top with your favorite ice cream treats.
*Keep in mind, this was measured with wet, heavy snow. This is best made with our traditional fluffy, dry snow. Only Alaskans will understand the term “dry snow.” It’s best to catch the snow in a bowl left outside, but you can also collect it carefully by shoveling it into a bowl with your hands. Try to avoid any yellow or dirty snow, of course!