Food Jammers-Inspired Ice Cream

The Food Jammers crew had the same craving on a camping trip, but they weren't waiting around for that ice cream truck, either. They got to work making ice cream DIY-style -- with two coffee cans and a campfire. I was inspired to make my own, sans ice cream maker.
By: Liz Gray
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With weather hovering in the 90s all weekend, I couldn't wait for Cooking Channel's Ice Cream Truck to head to Knoxville to get my icy fix. My head filled with just four words: Need. Ice. Cream. Now. (It was too hot for complete sentences.)

The Food Jammers crew had the same craving on a camping trip, but they weren't waiting around for that ice cream truck, either. They got to work making ice cream DIY-style -- with two coffee cans and a campfire. I was inspired to make my own, sans ice cream maker.

In true Food Jammers style, Micah, Chris and Nobu foraged for ingredients near their campsite and made a mayapple, mint and wild ginger concoction. I foraged as far as my patio and fridge and came up with a slightly more traditional mix of flavors for my ice cream: fresh-picked mint, vanilla and strawberries. For the base, I used one egg, two cups of half and half and half a cup of sugar (you can sweeten to taste).

To make the ice cream, you need some equipment you probably have around the house: two coffee cans (one large and one small) heavy tape, ice and rock salt (I found it near the ice cream at my market).

Once you've gathered equipment, mix the cream and sugar in a saucepan, then heat until the cream dissolves. Remove from heat, add a little of the cream to the beaten egg to bring it up to temperature, then mix it back into the pan.

Then, add whatever you're using to flavor it up. I mashed the strawberries and mint mojito-style so you'd get a little of the fruit in each bite. Put the cream mixture in the small can, tape it up, then put it inside the large can and surround with ice and rock salt. Close it up and tape again. Use lots of tape -- you want to eat the ice cream, not scoop it off the the grass.

Next, the fun part -- kicking it around! I enlisted my boyfriend to help kick it around (gently) -- think warm-up vs. field goal strength. When we got tired of kicking, we shook it back and forth like a maraca.

After about 45 minutes in the heat, it was icy but not completely solid, so retreated inside and threw it in the freezer to finish. Hey, it was sweltering, and I'm only human! About an hour later (with periodic shaking) here's the result:

It was creamy, not too sweet and totally worth it. I would play this version of "kick the can" anytime!

I'd love to try fresh mango or cherry-peach for my next batch. What's your favorite homemade ice cream mix-in?
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