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Coffee Can Ice Cream

Yield 2 quarts
We've put together a sampling of our favorite flavors, ranging from deep, rich chocolate and coffee to light lemon and cherries. They're all variations on the same basic Vanilla recipe, a treat by itself, too.


  • 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 quart half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

How to Make It

  1. Stir together all ingredients, mixing well. Fill 4 (13-ounce) coffee cans half full of cream mixture. Cover with plastic lids, and seal with waterproof tape. Place filled cans in 4 (25-pound) coffee cans. Fill with 8 parts crushed ice to 1 part rock salt. Cover with lids, and seal with tape. Kick cans back and forth on the beach 30 minutes or until ice cream is frozen, adding more ice and rock salt as needed.

  2. Basic Vanilla: Stir together all ingredients, mixing well. Pour mixture into freezer can of a 1-gallon hand-turned or electric freezer. Freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Pack freezer with additional ice and rock salt; let stand 1 hour before serving. Fill the canister two-thirds full or to the fill line so the ice cream can expand as it freezes. Yield: 2 1/2 quarts.

  3. Variation: Monterey Mocha: Stir together 1 cup hot water and 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules; cool. Stir coffee and 1/2 cup chocolate syrup into Vanilla mixture just before freezing.

  4. Misty Mint: Stir 1/2 cup clear or green crème de menthe and 1 cup semisweet chocolate mini-morsels into Vanilla mixture just before freezing.

  5. Bay Butter Pecan: Substitute 2 tablespoons butter flavoring for vanilla, and add 2 cups toasted chopped pecans just before freezing.

  6. Cherry on the Rocks: Substitute 1 teaspoon almond extract for vanilla. Stir 1/3 cup maraschino cherry juice, 3/4 cup quartered cherries, and 3/4 cup chopped pecans into mixture just before freezing.

  7. Chocolate Wave: Stir 1/2 cup chocolate syrup and 1 cup semisweet chocolate mini-morsels inot Vanilla mixture just before freezing.

  8. Citrus Freeze: Omit vanilla. Add 1 (6-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed and undiluted, just before freezing.

  9. Peanut Butter and Cream: Stir 3/4 cup chunky peanut butter into Vanilla mixture just before freezing. Serve with chocolate syrup, if desired.

  10. Note: Skip the skim milk; whole milk makes a richer dessert.