From Too Many Chefs -

March 2, 2007
Snow Cream

Eat the yellow snow!

OK, that was a little gross, but if you've just had a late snowfall, you can make yourself a treat that's almost as good as ice cream and twice as much fun to make. Plus, you don't have to wait all that time to get the custard mix to freeze as nature has done all the work for you.

Basically, snow cream is plain old fresh snow flavored with a little dairy, sugar, and vanilla. Because it depends on fresh clean snow, I wouldn't necessarily try this recipe downwind from an incinerator or crematorium (yeek).

Why does snow lend itself to this treatment? Think about ice cream? Ice cream is basically a collection of tiny frozen crystals of milk/egg/vanilla/sugar beaten together with air. Snow is fluffy frozen water crystals, so we just need to add the rest of the flavors to it to get an near-instant dairy treat.

Snow has different ratios of water to air, depending on the temperature outside, the winds, and the average velocity of an unladen swallow. For that reason, all I can give you here is guidance and not a hard formula. The inspiration for this recipe comes from my in-laws, who starting making snow cream as kids growing up.

Snow Cream
A bunch of fresh snow. Maybe a gallon's worth (it will reduce in volume as you mix it)
Milk or cream (not much, maybe a cup per gallon)
Sugar (1/2 cup or so per gallon, or to taste)
Vanilla - tablespoon or two per gallon

The important thing is to get clean snow. Ideally, "harvest" your snow off the very top of the pile while it's still coming down, and only take the freshest stuff. The last thing you want to do is eat dirt with your tasty treat.

Add the sugar and vanilla a little at a time and mix lightly with a big spoon. You should be using a folding motion rather than a whisking or beating motion to mix the ingredients. Add a little milk or cream and repeat until the snow cream tastes the way you'd like it to taste - a little thinner than ice cream, but quite tasty.

Be especially careful with the milk as it will liquify the snow most rapidly. If possible, mix everything outside under the open sky where its chilly enough to keep the snow mostly intact.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at March 2, 2007 7:37 AM

Oh My God!! My Grandmother used to make this for us!! I haven't thought about this in a very long time, thanks for posting! It brings back some great memories! :)

Posted by Michelle on March 3, 2007 at 7:53 PM

You are kidding! Is this true? I live in the northern part of Sweden. We have got snow, lots of clean white snow. I have never heard of Snow cream. You made me very curious.

Posted by Karin on March 4, 2007 at 9:14 AM

I remember when my mom used to make it for us when we were young.I live in no.Kentucky. Now I make it for my kids,what fun we have.Just made a batch today.Thanks

Posted by chuck on March 8, 2008 at 1:24 PM

My Grandmother also made this for us when we were kids - she included just a touch of cinnamon to the recipe listed above and it adds an interesting flavor to the vanilla snow cream.

Posted by Gena on January 19, 2009 at 5:34 PM

my dad use to make this for me and my sister when we where young. Thanks for posting the recipe, now i can make it for my son. it'll take way better than the plain snow he likes to eat! lol

Posted by Nakiya on January 29, 2009 at 2:11 PM

We're Grandparents visiting the Mich grandchildren where we are having snow and more snow. Our surprise for tonight was to make snowcream. Thank you for the recipe. The kids were quite taken away with it. They had to guess why we were collecting the new fallen snow in a roasting pan on the deck.

Posted by Peggy Gatlin on January 29, 2009 at 8:38 PM

When I lived in Alaska, I would just place my bowl out in the yard to catch the snow as it fell. It didn't long to get a full bowl during a heavy snowfall!! Just a helpful pioneer household hint.

Posted by Just Me on February 28, 2009 at 9:45 PM

you know I never tried this, but just got snow cone maker, lol and thinking would be great for making snow cream, just like snow, but all fresh and clean and can make any time of the year! I'm gonna try this tomarrow! ;=)

Posted by kristine on May 5, 2009 at 9:57 PM

We used to make this when I was a kid growing up in Southern Illinois. We were too poor to buy ice cream very often. Winter was one of the few times I could count on getting ice cream. We made it every time it snowed.

Posted by theScoundrel on December 9, 2009 at 3:30 AM

Oh - growing up - snow cream was a treat - but never w/the first snow. My Mom had snow cream while growing up - this is an old time recipe and just great. Brings back so many memories and so good!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Val on December 18, 2009 at 1:19 PM

and a little trick to it would be add some syrup to your milk or cream first (the kind you use to make flavored milk) I like strawberry, but my son likes chocolate. It's awesome that way

Posted by dd on February 1, 2010 at 12:48 AM