Snow Cream Recipe – How To Make Snow Ice Cream What?

snow ice cream in the north

The “Yankees-Don’t-Know-About-Snow-Cream” Paradox

What is snow cream? Snow cream is simply homemade ice cream made from snow.

As a kid growing up in North Carolina, we had snow cream every time it snowed. It didn’t snow often, so it was a real treat. For the last 20 years, I have lived in an area that gets plenty of snow, but I completely forgot about making snow cream. I have never met a person outside of the South that has heard of  snow cream.  Go figure. The people with the least snow want to eat it.

I was reminded about snow cream by my aunt. She is the last living sibling of my mother’s family. We were visiting her several years ago and she mentioned snow cream. My wife, not being from the South instantly asked “What is snow cream?

This is the wife speaking now…Being a Yankee from northern snow-belt country I never heard of snow cream as a kid and neither did any of my friends. Now this may sound silly since with all that snow we should be the ones making snow cream. My thinking is that since we did get so much snow, no adult in their right mind was going to show us how to make snow cream because we would want it all the time – and we could – all through winter. I think Southerners know about it because it’s more rare when it snows, so snow ice cream is a special treat, not an everyday event!

My aunt told us of a trip they made to Montana in the 1980s. Members of their church had gone to help another church build a new building. They were there during the first snowfall of the year, and she made snow cream. None of the local folks from Montana had ever heard of it. Every time it snowed, they wanted more snow cream. They also learned about Southern fried chicken, but that is another story.

We were reminded of snow cream again today because it is snowing in the South and someone amidst the Facebook chatter about the snow mentioned snow cream. That has prompted a flurry of questions about what is snow ice cream and various snow cream recipes.

Making snow cream is simple. The first ingredient is snow, then add milk, vanilla and sugar.

snow cream recipe

You can either put a bowl out to collect snow while it’s falling* or simple scoop some later.

*Obviously you don’t want the first snow that falls because it may have dust and smoke from the atmosphere. You don’t want any yellow snow either. If this needs explaining, go ahead and eat some, then you can explain it to someone else next time. You can either put a cold bowl outside to catch snow as it falls, or scoop snow up from a clean place from the deck or the yard.

The amounts of vanilla and sugar can be adjusted to taste, but since snow may differ in the amount of water it contains, you may have to adjust your snow to milk ratio with every snowfall. But even the worst snow cream is still good, so start with these basic ingredients for your first batch and adjust as needed.

Homemade Snow Cream Recipe

  • 1 Bowl of snow (6-8 cups). You may want more snow if it is light and fluffy and less snow if it is heavy and wet
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of milk, cream, half & half or sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla or any flavoring to your liking
  • 4- 5 tablespoons of sugar or honey (unless using sweetened condensed milk)

Stir vigorously until smooth. If not smooth, add slightly more milk and stir again. Enjoy.

Let us know how you like your first batch of snow cream!

Deep Snow Photo Credit

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