By Lisa Butterworth
Illustrated by Janice Wu
Sure, Ben & Jerry’s is delicious, but a steady diet of the stuff is ridiculously expensive. And electric ice cream makers are great, but who wants to clog up their countertop with yet another single-tasker gadget? Instead, try whipping up the warm-weather dessert yourself! All you’ll need are a handful of ingredients and a couple of coffee cans—it’s an immensely satisfying and crazy-easy project.
First, you’ll need the components for your DIY ice cream maker: two empty, clean metal coffee cans (one 1lb. and one 3 lb.) with plastic lids. Make your “batter” by pouring ¾ cup heavy cream into a small saucepan, and adding ½ cup sugar. Slice open a vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the saucepan, then add the pod to the pan. Warm over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, and remove from heat. Then add ¾ cup heavy cream, ½ cup whole milk, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Pour the mixture into the small coffee can and refrigerate overnight. When you’re ready to make your ice cream, remove the vanilla pod and seal the can’s lid with duct tape. Fill the bottom of your large coffee can with crushed ice, and put the smaller coffee can inside. Using ¾ cup rock salt (available at most grocery stores), fill the space between the large and small cans with alternating layers of ice and salt, until the mixture reaches the top. Seal the lid with duct tape. Now comes the fun part: roll that sucker around the room for 20 minutes. By then your ice will have melted, so refill the large coffee can with ¾ cup rock salt and crushed ice, re-tape the lid, and roll the can around for another 20 minutes. Then grab a spoon and dig in, or pop the smaller can in the freezer to further harden.