Snow Cream


When I was very little, my grandmother would make me maple candy when it snowed (we lived in Maine, so this was fairly often). She would boil maple syrup and pour it over a bowl of fresh, clean snow. The maple syrup would crack and harden, making a candy that we could eat immediately and pour in all kinds of fun designs.

Now I live in North Carolina, where Snow Cream is queen of the snow day. Snow cream is a wonderful, homemade ice cream using snow, evaporated milk, vanilla and sugar. Sadly, I’ve actually lived here for 15 years and never once made snow cream until this week. It seemed like a perfect dessert for a week of missed school and icy weather. Our deck held an ample supply of fresh, unadulterated snow, so we gave it a try and a big thumbs up. The only change I made is to the milk. Our little can of evaporated milk didn’t do the trick for our monster bowl of snow, so we substituted some organic vanilla flavored almond milk, and that was perfect!

This is a great dessert that even small children can help make. All it involves is collecting fresh snow, pouring the ingredients and stirring. Voila!

Many of us are still dealing with the after effects of the Polar Vortex. Snow cream may be a nice, winter way to make lemonade (or ice cream) out of lemons (snow). You can’t get more local than locally harvested snow!

A note about snow: If you ski or snowboard, you know that all snow is not the same. If you have a very wet snow, you may not need as much milk. A dry, powdery snow will require more liquid.

Snow Cream (makes about 4 servings)

  • One large bowl of fresh snow (our bowl held about 12 cups)
  • 1 cup (or so) of organic, vanilla almond milk
  • Vanilla extract (if you like, depending on how vanilla-y your milk is)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  1. Collect the fresh snow in a large bowl. If you aren’t making your snow cream right away, park the bowl in your freezer until you are ready.
  2. Add the milk, extract and sugar to your bowl of snow. Fold the ingredients together.
  3. Taste and add more milk or vanilla if you like (this is more art than science).
  4. Continue stirring and adjusting ingredients until you have the perfect texture. If you accidentally add too much milk, just go get more snow!
  5. Serve immediately.
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