A snow cone is a frozen treat made with either shaved ice or grounds up ice – generally served in a cup and flavored with syrup or other flavorings.
The original snow cone was made with shaved ice, and they have been popular since the early 1800s in America, they started being made almost as soon as ice became commercially available, they were the first ices for many.
Do I need a Specialist Snow Cone Machine?
You can buy a specialist machine to make your Snow Cone there are many on the market. However, if you don’t have a special Snow Cone machine all is definitely not lost, they can be made using the blender you already have available in your kitchen, or by hand without any machinery at all.
How do I get my ice crushed for my Snow Cone?
The quick answer is to use the blender that you have in your kitchen already:
- Work out the amount of ice that you will need to serve the number of snow cones you wish to make.
- Check your blender instructions – the ‘puree’ setting is usually perfect for making your snow cones.
- Put the ice in and run your blender.
- The longer you leave it running, the finer the finish on your cone – if you like shavings keep a watchful eye on it as it blends – the change to crushed ice will happen very quickly!
If you don’t have a kitchen blender then you can make your snow cone perfectly well manually:
- Get the ice from your freezer unit or buy yourself some ice from the local store.
- Put into a sturdy plastic bag – for ice cubes brought from the store the bag they came in should be perfect.
- Find a suitable implement – a rolling pin or tenderising mallet would be perfect – and crush the ice. Make sure that you have it onto a firm surface so that you don’t damage anything underneath it.
Now I have my ice?
- If you are serving many people, or have crushed a large quantity of ice, then putting it into a bowl makes serving much easier.
- If you are doing more than one bag, or a blender full, then you can keep the crushed ice in the bowl in a freezer until you are ready to serve. Be careful not to take too long though – it will turn back into a lump of ice very quickly.
- Scoop the ice into your serving dish – traditionally these would be paper cups, and that still makes the best Snow Cone serving dish.
- Fill your cup to the brim – using an ice cream scoop will give you a wonderful rounded top, although you could shape it with a spoon if you don’t have an ice cream scoop.
- Now for the best bit – add your flavoring! There are specially made syrups on the market, or you can use juice, soda, or anything else that takes your fancy. Drizzle the flavoring into the top of the snow cone and allow it to percolate down. Be careful not to add too much, or your snow cone will melt very quickly indeed. A good rule of thumb is to use around two tablespoons of the flavoring.
- If you are serving your snow cones in paper cups then people will usually just eat from the cup – if you have gone for a bowl or similar serving dish then you may want to serve the snow cones with spoons for your guests to enjoy them.
Snow Cones are easy to make, great fun for children to assemble, and endlessly popular – not to mention cheap. If you go easy on the syrup then they are a healthy treat, and in hot weather are a good way to cool children down and increase their fluid intake.
Whilst Snow Cone machines do make the job very easy indeed, not having a machine to do the work for you shouldn’t put you off making your Snow Cones as it is simple – even if you don’t have a blender and make them by hand.