Time: 40 minutes
3 to 4 pounds ice (10 cups or more)
1/2 cup table salt or 1 cup kosher salt, plus a pinch
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
1. Pour all the ice into a large glass or plastic bowl, cover it with salt, and stir.
2. In a bowl, mix milk, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt together until sugar dissolves. Pour into a sealable 1-gallon freezer bag, push out as much air as possible, and seal.
3. Place a wide plastic bowl with a lid, like a salad spinner bowl, on a kitchen towel. Fill bowl with about half the ice. Lay freezer bag on ice and flatten it with your hand. Dump rest of the ice, along with any melted water, on top of bag, leaving zipper edge exposed. Place lid on the bowl. Let rest for 15 minutes, shaking it once or twice to redistribute ice and brine.
4. Pour about half the ice and brine into another bowl. Lift bag out by the zipper edge and lay it on a towel. (Avoid touching ice or brine, which are cold enough to cause frostbite.) Cover your hands with another towel and gently knead frozen areas for about a minute to mix them with liquid.
5. Return freezer bag to bowl, laying it flat on ice. Cover it with reserved ice and brine. Put lid on bowl and freeze as above for another 15 minutes.
6. Remove bag and carefully towel off the brine. Serve ice cream, or keep bag in freezer until ready to serve.
Yield: One pint.
Note: You can use this method to freeze any ice cream or sorbet mix. If you make ice cream regularly, you can eliminate ice cubes and reuse salt. Make a brine with 3 quarts water and 1 pound salt, divide it between two 1-gallon freezer bags, and store bags flat in freezer. To make ice cream, sandwich the bag of mix between brine bags, enclosing stack in towels.
August 6, 2008