Traditionally consisting of snow, sugar, milk and a hint of vanilla, the seasonal dessert known as snow cream has been delighting southerners for generations. Now, one High Country resident seeks to share her longtime recipe for the dish with those with a fondness for winter treats.
Snow has a particularly short shelf life in many areas of the South, leaving many with limited window of opportunity to enjoy the dessert. Ashe County resident Lois Cockerham’s slight twist on the traditional snow cream recipe is said to help the dessert stick around longer, if stored properly. Cockerham’s secret ingredient is pudding.
“About 20 years ago my sister and I came up with a snow cream recipe,” said Cockerham. “The more pudding you put into it, the softer it is. Then you can freeze it and just dip it out like ice cream.”
Originally from West Virginia, Cocerkham and her sister Mary Hampton grew up eating snow cream, a treat which they continued to perfect over the years. According to Cockerham, it was her sister Mary’s idea to add pudding into the mix.
“Mother fixed it for us, but you had to eat it all right then,” said Cockerham. “If you don’t put pudding in it then it’s just going to be like freezing ice. You have to have something in there to make it soft, so the pudding is what done it.”
In order to make Cockerham’s version of snow cream, one must take a can of sweetened condensed milk, one can of evaporated milk, a ¾ cup of sugar, four packs of instant pudding and combine them with a bowl of fresh snow.
“Have that and your pudding opened before you get the snow. I use a hand mixer to mix it,” said Cockerham. “When it gets good and thick then you can put it in containers and stick it in the freezer.”
Cockerham also has a recipe for an orange sorbet, which includes all the ingredients of her snow cream recipe except that orange gelatin mix is used in lieu of pudding. The recipes stem from a desire to enjoy snow cream long after winter weather has come and gone.