The summer is heating up. In Denver, we’ve hit the triple digits. What’s the best way to beat the heat?

By eating ice cream of course!

Don’t worry about going to the store – grab some ice, sugar and cream and mix up a batch of your own.  But before you start, let’s do a quick science lesson on ice cream.

The freezing temperature of water is 32 degrees Fahrenheit. In order for ice to melt, it must rob heat from something around it. When you add ice cubes to your favorite drink, the ice robs heat away from the drink and melts, making the drink colder.

To make ice cream, the freezing point of the ice must be lowered in order to rob the cream mixture of enough heat and turn it to ice cream. Add rock salt to the ice, mix it around, and the salt will make the ice even colder.

You don’t need a fancy ice cream maker to make homemade ice cream. Grab a Zip-loc gallon-sized bag and fill it with ice cubes and rock salt. Then take a smaller sandwich-sized Zip-loc bag, fill it with Half & Half, sugar and some vanilla or other flavoring. Close it up and stick it inside the ice-salt mixture. Roll the bag around and around, shaking and mixing for about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the smaller bag from the ice and wash it off to clear off any salt.

Eat it.

You can also put the ice in a container or get a Play and Freeze Ice Cream maker. The ice cream maker holds the salt and ice mixture around the outside and mixes the cream in a separate, sealed tube. Roll it or shake it. The Play and Freeze Maker is perfect for camping, barbecues or just hanging out around the pool for perfect, delicious ice cream anywhere.

Basic Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

  • 1 pint of Half & Half*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • Ice
  • Rock salt

*Using whole cream makes a richer, creamier ice cream. Using part milk and Half and Half makes a lighter ice cream, but takes longer to freeze. Yield: about a pint of smooth and creamy ice cream.

For more on this experiment, please visit the Ice Cream Ball Experiment page.

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