Snow Cream

The large snowfalls in the mid Atlantic area has caused a sudden popularity of Snow Cream recipes on the internet, local news, and an article in the Washington Post. The modern recipes use sweetened condensed milk, cream, even yogurt. Below are historical receipts which are delicous and simple to make.

Elizabeth Ellicott Lea, born in Ellicott City, Md., wrote her cookbook in 1845, and added to it in 1846 and 1851. The last edition stayed in print for 40 years, and I have met a few elderly ladies who used Domestic Cookery, published in Baltimore:

Snow Cream
Take the richest cream you can procure, season it with a few drops of essence of lemon, or syrup of lemon peel, and powdered white sugar, and if you choose a spoonful of preserve syrup, and just as you send it to table, stir in light newly fallen snow till it is nearly as stiff as ice cream.

From Gleanings in bee culture, Volume 26 NY: 1898: HONEY SNOW CREAM.
One cup rich sweet cream; 1/3 cup extracted honey of decided flavor; mix and cool thoroughly, then stir in fresh, light, feathery snow till it crumbles, and serve at once. If I am not mistaken you will say it is better than any ice-cream you ever tasted. The above will be enough for four good dishes.

Fresh snow contains a large proportion of ammonia which renders the cakes light, but which soon evaporates, rendering old snow useless for this purpose.
Buckeye Cookery Minneapolis, Minn.: Buckeye Pub. Co., 1877.

Snow Cream.—Mrs. M. A. H. Rowe, Columbia Co.,N.Y. says the following is quite equal to Ice cream. Beat thoroughly 1 egg with 1 cup white sugar, add I cup sweet cream, flavor to the taste, and stir in snow until it is quite stiff. American Agriculturist, NY: 1862

I left out the egg, and mixed the wet ingrediants until sugar was dissolved. Since we had about 45" on the ground from the two storms in five days, I put the bowl in the snow and let the liquid chill. As the snow was falling, I added from the surrounding top layers of snow. Or, put snow in a larger bowl, insert the other bowl and stir. Eat immediately or store the Snow Cream in a freezer.

1 C cream or milk
1/2 C sugar
1 t vanilla
12+ C of snow

©2010 Patricia Bixler Reber