Nothing beats the heat of a Midwest summer than sweet creamy cold ice cream. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to bring that to a camping trip. Unless you have an RV with a fridge, keeping a gallon of ice cream from melting while camping can be a real challenge. Tin Can Ice Cream is a way of making ice cream any where with minimal equipment which makes it perfect activity for summer camping.
I learned to make tin can ice cream from my friend, Meeghan. Meeghan and I began camping together shortly after we met in graduate school. She always told me stories about how she grew up camping. Every time she reflects back on her childhood camping trips, tin can ice cream is there. She said she can’t remember a camping trip that her mom did not break out the tin cans and put Meeghan and her three siblings to work making ice cream. I think Meeghan’s mom was probably the smartest mom ever. She might have ended up with a cool afternoon treat but she also knew that making tin can ice cream would keep her four children entertained for a half hour (or so) and that they would likely meet other kids from the campground to play with during their stay. Meeghan reports that every time they made ice cream other kids would come by to see what they were doing, end up helping, and they ended up making new friends.
Making tin can ice cream is easy. There is no machine to carry around. No intricate parts to be washed afterwards. In fact, you don’t even need electricity. You simply need 2 different sized coffee cans; one large and one smaller to fit inside the large one. You will need ice and rock salt. Easy. The recipe is perfectly portioned, you will easily eat all the ice cream in one sitting and have no need to deal with leftovers. Of course, if you have a crowd, you might plan to make a couple of batches.
Meeghan says she has no idea where her mother got the recipe from or even how old she was when they started making it. We have made it a few times at on group camping trips and the kids love it. We hope you will as well.