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David Lissner
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Eat this! Snow ice cream, because…

Snow in Chicagoland, Feb. 2, 2011. (Photo by Dick Smith)

Blizzard in Chicagoland: The aftermath. If life hands you a blizzard, make snow ice cream! (Photo by Dick Smith)

What it is: A childhood favorite and a great way to keep the kids amused while they’re home from school, snow ice cream is a sweet dessert made from that fluffy white stuff all around outside today.

Where it comes from: Accounts vary, but many historians trace the origins of ice cream made with snow to China, some 3,000 years ago, where chefs to the emperors mixed mountain snows with wine, fruit and honey. With the Chinese New Year occurring tomorrow, that’s a good enough story for us. You can find the descendent of this millenniums-old concept at Cloud 9 in Lakeview — but not at this time of year.

What to do with it: Bundle up, go out and collect a big bowl of snow and throw a few snowballs while you’re at it. If you’re in a well-trafficked area, scrape off the top layer of snow and get the clean stuff from underneath.

Snow ice cream

8 to 10 cups clean snow
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate syrup or fruit puree (optional)

Combine the snow, condensed milk and vanilla in a large bowl. Serve immediately, drizzled with syrup or puree if desired. 4 servings.

If you had the foresight to stock up on fresh eggs and whipping cream before the blizzard, you can use this richer snow ice cream recipe instead.

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