The world’s easiest homemade ice cream. No churning or fancy equipment required!
HOMEMADE ICE CREAM MADE IN A MASON JAR? REALLY?
Making ice cream from scratch can be a bit of a project and typically requires some type of an ice cream maker. So when I read about making ice cream in a mason jar, although I was intrigued, I figured it was probably a gimmicky method that wouldn’t produce good tasting ice cream. I was even more skeptical because the article about this unique ice cream making technique was, quite apparently, using a stock photo instead of a picture of ice cream that was actually made using the recipe (“Getty Images” appears at the bottom of the photo). However, this Mason Jar Brownie Ice Cream is proof that my skepticism was unwarranted!
HOW TO MAKE IT – GREAT FOR KIDS
Here’s the basic method for making Mason Jar Brownie Ice Cream. (Refer to the recipe card below for additional detail.)
Into a 16-ounce mason jar, pour:
• 1 cup of heavy cream
• 3-5 teaspoons coconut sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Pinch of salt
• 1 brownie, about 1 ounce in size, cut into small pieces (try Dark Chocolate Avocado Brownies)
Cover with a lid, shake the heck out of it for about 1 minute, and then stick it in the freezer for 3 hours.
How simple is that?!!? Kids will love to get involved in making mason jar ice cream. Just be sure they have a good grasp on the mason jar as they shake it. Mason jars are sturdy but can break (and sometimes shatter) if dropped.
WHAT’S THE CATCH?
The ease with which you can make mason jar ice cream, and the taste, can’t be beat but there are a couple of caveats with this method. Almost all commercially made ice cream contains preservatives and chemicals that are added to extend shelf life and improve texture (i.e. make it creamier and easier to scoop). Additives like:
• guar gum,
• xanthan gum, and
are all commonly found in store-bought ice cream. The lack of these type of ingredients in Mason Jar Brownie Ice Cream means that it will contain more ice crystals and thus have a different mouthfeel than store-bought ice cream. It’ll also be much harder to scoop. However, these issues should be of little concern. Most people won’t mind ice cream with a slightly icier texture as long as the overall taste is excellent, and in this case it is. And, when you consider how simple the mason jar method is, along with the fact that it doesn’t involve using any potentially harmful additives, the tradeoff (less creamy/harder to scoop) seems totally worth it.
You can handle the “hard to scoop” problem in one of two ways:
- Heat up your ice cream scoop – Run a metal ice cream scoop under very hot tap water and then dry it off (it should be quite hot to the touch). Immediately start scooping the ice cream. The residual heat emanating from the metal scoop will soften the ice cream as you scoop. Repeat the process as needed.
- Pre-portion the scoops – Wait until the ice cream is only partially frozen – the point at which it’s a little firmer than a soft serve consistency. Every freezer is different but start checking it after about 1½ – 2 hours. Place the semi-hard scoops onto a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the freezer until completely firm. (That’s how I prepared the ice cream for the photos in this post. It works great.)
WHY DOES MELTED ICE CREAM TASTE SO SWEET?
Have you ever tasted melted ice cream and noticed how much sweeter it tastes than when it’s frozen? That’s because our taste buds are somewhat muted to sweet food products when they are very cold or frozen. (Check out this article on how food temperature affects taste.) Ice cream manufacturer use lots of sugar in their products to compensate for this phenomenon, which results in some brands of ice cream having as much as 18 grams of sugar or more per ½ cup serving! That’s the equivalent of over 4 teaspoons of sugar for just 1 serving! The great thing about the mason jar method is that you can control the amount of sugar you put in or even use a sugar substitute like stevia or monk fruit.
For other frozen dessert recipes check out: Chocolate Peppermint Tofu Ice Cream, Raspberry Vanilla Swirl Ice Cream Pie with Maple Almond Cookie Crust, Maple Maca Ice Cream Sundaes, and Maple Sweetened Strawberry Ice Cream,
If you make Mason Jar Brownie Ice Cream, don’t forget to snap a pic and tag me over on Instagram @QueenofMyKitchen. I’d love to see your creation!
Mason Jar Brownie Ice Cream
- 1 cup (8 ounces) heavy cream
- 3-5 teaspoons coconut sugar (use 3 teaspoons for a less sweet ice cream and 5 for a sweeter one)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1 - ounce brownie, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- Pour the heavy cream into a pint size mason jar. Add the remaining ingredients.
- Place a top on the jar and shake vigorously for at least 1 minute, or until the volume of liquid in the jar has doubled and the mixture has thickened.
- Freeze until solid, (about 3 hours) stirring after two hours to redistribute the brownie bits.
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