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Tin Can Ice Cream

I have fond memories of making homemade ice cream as a child. We had an old crank ice cream maker. My Daddy would let us sit on the cold ice  (which was a cool treat in the heat of the summer) while he turned and turned that wheel until we had super yummy homemade vanilla ice cream.

My dear friend, Meeghan, also has fond memories of making homemade ice cream. As soon as we committed to a Family Camp-Out, Meeghan wanted to make Tin Can Ice Cream. This is what Meeghan had to say:

 We made this every time we camped when I was growing up. I have no clue when we started to do it or how my mom came about the recipe I just always remember doing it. I also remember wherever we were camping if there were other kids around they were always came around to help. It was an easy way to make new friends while camping! 

Tin Cans are becoming a thing of the past. So many things that use to be sold in tin cans are now packaged in plastic or cardboard. I was still able to find some coffee packaged in tin. To make tin can ice cream you actually need two different sizes of cans. A smaller one with a lid and then one large enough for the small one to fit inside.  Both tin cans need lids. 

To assemble the ice cream mixture, you will need:
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

 In the smaller can, add one egg. Take a whisk and break up the egg. I think you could also achieve this by putting the lid on the can and shaking it well.

Next add 1/2 cup of sugar. Meeghan followed one of my tips and had pre-measured out the sugar into Ziploc baggies. Less mess and less clean up is a good thing when camping!

Add in the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. How lucky were we that several of the teen/pre-teen girls wanted to help out. Instant assistants!
 To finish off the ice cream mixture, add in the cup of milk and cup of whipping cream.  Put the lid on the smaller can and set the smaller can inside a larger can.

 To turn this mixture into ice cream we now need two things. Cold and movement. Start layering ice and rock salt in the larger can and around the smaller can.  Rock salt, or ice cream salt, makes the ice even colder.

 Warning: try not to get rock salt on the lid of the smaller can. Or if you do, make sure you get it all off and give the lid of the smaller can a good wipe down. You are going to need to open that lid in a few minutes and we do not want any salt getting into our ice cream mixture.

The next step involves as many people as you want. We made 5 batches of ice cream for our family camp-out. So we involved over half of the camp. After you have reached the top of the smaller can alternating ice and salt, put the lid on the larger can and start rolling it back and forth.

Roll the can for 10 minutes. Then open the larger can, remove the smaller can and open it. Give it a good stir.

{Meeghan had an awh-hah moment during this step! She always wondered why her mom used a metal spoon and when she found out how difficult it was to use a rubber spatula on a cold metal can, she quickly figured it out!}

After you have given the ice cream mixture a good stir, put the lid back on. Return it to the rollers and roll again for another 5 minutes or so.

The last thing is to sit back and enjoy a bowl, or cup in our case, of yummy homemade ice cream. 

Thanks, Meeghan for sharing your beloved Mother's tradition with all of us! I predict many more camping memories  involving Tin Can Ice Cream!

I linked up!

artsy-fartsy mama


  1. Oohh... we are going to have to try this! Such a great idea to use while camping! Thanks for the tips :)
    Thanks for sharing at Artsy Corner!


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