Instant ice cream

So, there you are, stuffed to bursting point with the festive roast beast or veggie alternative.

You’ve eaten all the sausage rolls, mince pies, sweets and chocolate that you can manage.

You’ve played all the silly games and can’t bear to watch another of Auntie Maisie’s charades.

Slade’s “Merry Christmas” has begun to pall, and no-one knows all the words to “Fairy Tale of New York”.

What do you do?

Make ice-cream!

It takes about 10 minutes (instant gratification – just what we need at this time of year), strong arm muscles and everyone can join in.

What you need to make instant ice cream

Cream, milk and sugar ©

1kg ice – crushed with a rolling pin, or generally bashed about a bit
480g salt (rock or dishwasher type – the bigger the crystals the better)
2 ziplock medium freezer bags
1 heavy duty bin bag
Old tea towels or towels
Gloves; essential if you are sensitive to cold


300ml ice cream base of your choice using:
1 part milk (100ml)
2 parts cream (200ml)
3 tablespoons of sweetener e.g honey, sugar, jam, lemon curd, chocolate sauce, golden syrup etc.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract – optional
Sprinkles, nuts, glacé cherries etc to decorate

You can use equal quantities of milk and cream or even reverse the ratio, but we went for the full-on, rich version, using double cream.

And this is what you do….

Vanilla ice cream ©

Measure the milk into a jug and add the sweetener of your choice. Stir gently until dissolved.

Measure the cream into another jug and add the milk mixture.

Place the ice into the bin bag and sprinkle the salt onto the ice. Mix the two together by bumping the underneath of the bag with your hand (hold the top tightly so it doesn’t all fall out).

Carefully pour the ice cream mixture into a medium freezer bag. Do up the bag leaving a LITTLE bit of air and place it into the other bag of the same size. Do that one up as well leaving a LITTLE bit of air.

So now you have your ice cream mix inside a bag, inside a bag.

Bury it in the ice in the bin bag. Squeeze out the air in the bag and close it.

Wrap the bag in tea towels, put on your gloves if you have them, then SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE for 5-10 minutes. This is where the tea-towels are essential – as the ice melts and you are shaking, there is a high risk of salty water droplets going EVERYWHERE!

Festive tutti frutti ice cream ©

Everyone has their own particular style of shaking. Pork Belly favours the rock and roll method – loud music and vigorous gyrations. Mine more closely resembles a gorilla – arms hanging down and using body weight to increase the impact. We have seen others with a Spanish flamenco style and even spotted the macarena among family and friends.

After about 10 minutes the mix should have set (the more you shake, the smoother it is) and it’s time to open the bag of ice and remove the two smaller bags.

Top Tip: If it hasn’t set and you’ve run out of energy, all is not lost. Just pop it in the freezer for a few minutes. I know, cheating, but we hate waste!

Carefully remove the outer bag trying not to let it touch the bag containing the ice-cream, to avoid getting any salt on it.

Snip the corner off the bag and squeeze or spoon into a bowl.

Pork Belly served one as a simple vanilla but for the second sitting he swirled in a brandy-soaked dried fruit mix for a really festive taste.

Serve immediately. It’s just the thing to accompany a viewing of Muppet Christmas Carol or It’s a Wonderful Life.

10 minute chocolate ice-cream ©
Try chocolate with some cherry pie filling and walnuts ©

Some more flavour ideas for you:
Chocolate – add some cocoa powder or chocolate syrup
Fruit – try some raspberries or strawberries
Coffee – a shot of espresso tastes good
Cherry – throw in a handful of glacé cherries

Merry Christmas!

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