I remember my family investing in an ice cream maker when I was a kid — and the clunky mess it tended to make. So, when I recently found an easy mason jar ice cream recipe, I was intrigued. Could a small jar and four simple ingredients really produce the same delicious frozen treat?
The recipe comes from Chowhound and requires just a cup of heavy cream, one and a half tablespoons of granulated sugar, one and a half teaspoons of vanilla extract, and a quarter teaspoon of salt. I already had most of that in my kitchen, plus plenty of jars, so I grabbed some cream from the grocery store and gave it a shot. (Side note: If your store only has cartons of heavy whipping cream like mine did, that works, too!)
After pouring all of those ingredients into a 16-ounce jar, I sealed the lid and started shaking it all up. The recipe claims you need to do this for about three to five minutes, or until the mixture almost doubles in size and looks like a loose batter that can coat a spoon without slipping away.
I expected my arms to get tired fast, but it wasn’t bad at all. And it really just took a few minutes for it all to firm up before I popped it in the freezer to chill out.
Here’s how it looked when I checked a few hours later:
It definitely looks like vanilla ice cream — and one spoonful later confirmed it tasted great, too! I would probably use slightly less salt in my next batch, though. The salty taste lingered and although it wasn’t totally off-putting, it wasn’t ideal. But as someone who doesn’t like things to be too sweet, it was the perfect level of sugar for me.
I’m also looking forward to adding different flavors on my next round, like mint extract, chocolate chips, or getting fancy with some edible essential oils (lavender ice cream sounds scrumptious and soothing).
I bet kids would have fun shaking up this Mason jar ice cream recipe, too. Give it a try!