Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Old School Homemade Ice Cream in Red, White and Blue

(From the 4th of July Camping Menu)

AKA Ice Cream in a Can

From The Real Family Camping Cookbook:

When you're making ice cream at the campground or at a cookout, you can buy one of those plastic ice cream maker balls (I think L.L. Bean carries them) or you can do it old school, like this. You'll need a 1 lb. coffee can and a 3 lb. coffee can - try a diner or a college cafeteria for the big one.  Or you can use a clean paint can the right size.

Serves: 8

1 ½ pints half and half
1/2 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
3/4 c. strawberries
3/4 c. blueberries
crushed ice
1-2 c. rock salt
1 clean 1 lb. coffee can with the plastic lid
1 clean 3 lb. coffee can with the plastic lid
duct tape

1. Put the half and half, sugar and vanilla in the 1 lb. coffee can and mix well. 
2. Put the lid on the 1 lb.coffee can and tape it securely shut with duct tape.
3. Put the 1 lb. coffee can into the 3 lb. coffee can and surround it with crushed ice and rock salt.
4. Put the lid on the 3 lb. can and secure it with duct tape.
5. Roll the can back and forth in the grass or other soft surface for about 15 minutes.
6. Take the small can out of the big can, wipe it clean and open it up. Scrape down the sides and add the strawberries and blueberries.* Tape it back up, pack it in the big can with more salt and ice and tape the big can back up. Roll for another 10 minutes or so.
7. Take the small can out of the big can, wipe it off and dish out the ice cream into bowls.

*When you mix the berries into the ice cream you get a beautiful, purple ice cream with red and blue berries in it. For a red, white, and blue effect, make vanilla ice cream and sprinkle the berries on top. And if you do this, you can use a lot more berries.

For the coffee can challenged:
If you don’t have coffee cans, use a small Ziploc bag inside a large Ziploc bag. Instead of rolling, shake the bags.

 “Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.” - Don Kardong

Back to the 4th of July Camping Menu.


  1. Oh dear god this sounds like fun! And you get ice cream at the end, which is the best ending for everything.

  2. And homemade ice cream is so yummy and soft. Like gelato. Mmmmm....

  3. I am the not-so-proud owner of the ice cream ball from LL Bean or REI or one of those places. It worked great for a while. We took it to national parks in Utah, lakes in Colorado and sometimes just our backyard. The problem with the ball is that it is a hard plastic ball and not really a ball at that. The plastic eventually split and rock salt poured into the ice cream (sad evening for us!). Like many things made in China the "ball" is not bouncy, not rubber, not round really. Hence, I LOVE this alternative from Real Family Camping! Once again I can have individual apple pie a la mode at Capitol Reef Park in Fruita Utah. Thanks!

  4. Ahah! Those ice cream balls do have a temporary look. And what can possibly compete in durability with a tin can? Thanks for the tip, Christina. I've never owned one of those and now I know.