Minimal Monday: Fresh Lemon Ice Cream

Fresh Lemon Ice Cream is like no other ice cream you’ve ever had ~ the zippy, tart, citrus flavor is unique and so refreshing!

This ice cream qualifies for Minimal Monday status because it takes less than 30 minutes to make from start to finish (if you use an ice cream maker) and it has the simple, clean flavor of tangy fresh lemon. The secret is lots of fresh lemon juice and a tiny bit of pure lemon extract to really bring that flavor out.

I added 2 tiny drops of yellow food coloring, mostly for the sake of the photos.  I hardly ever use food coloring, and when I do I use it very sparingly.  In this case it just takes the ‘edge’ off the stark whiteness of the ice cream, which enhances my appreciation of its lemony-ness.

I love this partly because I’m a lemon addict, but also because it’s such an unusual flavor, at least for ice cream.  There are plenty of lemon sherberts and sorbets out there, but not too many actual ice creams.  I almost added dark chocolate chunks to it, but held back in favor of the pure lemon.  I think I made the right decision.

So far anyway I’ve been focusing on the simplest ice cream recipes, ones that involve no egg yolks, and no cooking.  For this one I just whisk sugar into cold milk and cream, and then I poured the lemon juice in right before I added it to the machine.  It curdled a bit but I figured it would work itself out as it churned, and I was right.

The best part of making your own ice cream is dipping the spoon in while it’s churning.  One taste and I knew I had a winner.  The large amount of lemon juice gives it a kick that you don’t expect from ice cream.

You can sprinkle on a little zest as a garnish, but again, I did that mostly for photographic purposes.  I do think this lemon ice cream would be pretty spectacular with some homemade dark chocolate magic shell, or homemade bittersweet hot fudge sauce, though.  Lemon and dark chocolate is a killer combination.

Fresh Lemon Ice Cream

Fresh Lemon Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup cold milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used superfine baking sugar, but you don't have to)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 or 5 lemons)
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 2 or 3 drops yellow food coloring (optional)

Instructions

  1. Mix the cream, milk, and sugar together and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Add the food coloring if you are going to use it.
  3. Make sure your mixture and your lemon juice are cold, and when you are just about to add the cream to your ice cream maker, add the lemon juice and extract. Pour into the machine and process according to the instructions. On the basic Cuisinart machine it takes about 20 minutes.
  4. You can eat it soft right from the machine, or freeze it longer for a firmer scoop.
https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/minimal-monday-fresh-lemon-ice-cream/

Note: 

  • After this ice cream has been in the fridge for several hours it will be quite hard.  Bring it out and let it sit for a while to soften up before scooping.
  • Recently I bought some quart sized cardboard ice cream containers, just like commercial ice cream comes in, and I love them.  They’re great if you want to share your ice cream, or use it as a host/hostess gift.  And if you have anyone in your house who likes to eat ice cream right out of the carton while they watch tv, letting it get all drippy and disgusting, and then put it back in the freezer, you might want to consider reserving a carton just for yourself.

 

Don’t forget to pin this Fresh Lemon Ice Cream ~

41 Comments

  • Reply
    Chloe
    August 2, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    It tasted to creamy and their wasn’t enough lemon ? juice other than that it was pretty good

  • Reply
    Sara
    June 28, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    I’ve made this twice. The first time it came out perfect and was delicious. The second time it tasted like pure alcohol. I used the correct measurements. All the measuring utensils were still on the counter when I tasted the ice cream so I know I measured correctly. The only difference was the brand of lemon extract. First time was McCormick, second time was Watkins. Any idea why this occurred?

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 28, 2017 at 6:24 pm

      If you tasted alcohol it had to have been the extract. Everybody will have different opinions when it comes to brands, so I would stick with the McCormick if it turned out good for you. Lemon is a tough flavor to reproduce and it’s really important to have a top quality pure extract. That’s too bad about the second batch, but at least now you know!

      • Reply
        Sue
        June 28, 2017 at 6:24 pm

        Oh and one more thought, could you have accidentally added too much, because a little goes a long way.

  • Reply
    Rufusd
    June 19, 2017 at 7:00 am

    I just made this Lemon Ice Cream. Hubby & I did a taste test and it was wonderful! Just the right amount of lemon. I used half n half instead of milk, left out the food coloring. Will be serving this tonight for company. I’ve been wanting to make Lemon Ice Cream for years. Perfect recipe. Thanks for posting.

    • Reply
      Rufusd
      June 19, 2017 at 7:00 am

      Also, no trouble with curdling.

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 19, 2017 at 7:05 am

      It’s such a unique flavor, and I crave this every summer…I’m so happy that you loved it!

  • Reply
    Richard H
    June 10, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    To reduce curdling I find it works well to reduce the amount of lemon juice and add some zest as well. I use the finely grated zest and juice from 3 large lemons. I add the zest to the ice cream base and let that soak in the fridge for 2 hours to bring out the fresh flavor of the lemon zest. Can also be left overnight if you prefer. I like to keep the zest in the ice cream but you can strain most of it out. Then mix well while slowly adding in the lemon juice. At this point you can put it through your ice cream maker. I will sometimes put it back in the fridge for a couple hours at this point, mixing it quickly every 20 minutes or so. The lower temperature and frequent mixing help to control the reaction between the juice and the cream. Instead of a full curdling and souring of the cream I find the reaction is just enough to just thicken it a bit. You can then run it through the ice cream maker. This method gives a more rich, smooth texture.

  • Reply
    Leslie
    June 4, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Can you use coconut milk instead of cream and stevia instead of sugar? If so I’m ready to try! I love lemons and this sounds like heaven!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 4, 2017 at 5:09 pm

      As long as you’re using an ice cream maker, you can substitute coconut milk, but just be aware that you’ll get that flavor coming through, and it won’t be quite as ‘creamy’ as with actual cream. And the stevia would be fine, too.

  • Reply
    Julie
    May 29, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    This was just fantastic! I am doing low carb/ketone and all I did was so full cream and substitute sugar with erythritol and voila, gorgeous lemon ice cream that is to die for!

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 29, 2017 at 2:11 pm

      I love to hear this Julie because I was so proud of this recipe when I made it, and it’s remained one of my favorite ice creams, especially since you never see this flavor in stores or ice cream shops :) It’s really good to know that the sugar substitute worked.

  • Reply
    Nancy
    April 8, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    I have been looking for a lemon ice cream recipe that doesn’t use the eggs. I make strawberry rhubarb and it turns out wonderful Do you think I could use lemon curd (from a jar) instead of the lemon juice? Thank you so much!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 8, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      Yes, absolutely! Let us know how it turns out.

  • Reply
    Dar Normand
    November 18, 2016 at 8:21 am

    I’m a bit late here. Trying to find what to do with my Myers lemons that have ripened on the tree. My daughter doesn’t like cookies, cakes or cupcakes. It’s a texture things ha. My question is, I have an old style ice cream maker but don’t want to use it. Can I just mix together, pour into a container and freeze?

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 18, 2016 at 8:44 am

      Hi Dar ~ it’s not always possible to convert a regular ice cream recipe to a no churn one…check out my no-churn recipes on the blog (http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/?s=no+churn) for ideas…I would suggest whipping the cream and using some sweetened condensed milk as your base, along with the lemon juice. Good luck, and I’m super jealous of your lemon tree!

      • Reply
        Dar Normand
        November 20, 2016 at 2:02 pm

        Sue, thank you so much for responding. I will look into this. She loves SCM in a huge way.

  • Reply
    Liz from Michigan
    July 31, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Just made the lemon ice cream and my husband wanted to thank you for the recipe! Best ever – super creamy and refreshing. I used the last of our Meyer lemon stash, and it was a great way to enjoy them. Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 31, 2016 at 4:43 pm

      Oh I’m so glad Liz — I think lemon is the best flavor for ice cream!

      • Reply
        Liz from Michigan
        August 27, 2016 at 12:38 pm

        I used the same recipe and made peach using 1/2 cup peach puree and almond flavoring. It turned out well – need to try your nectarine version!

        • Reply
          Sue
          August 27, 2016 at 12:39 pm

          Nice, I need to try that, I’ve got some great peaches right now. Love that you used almond flavor :)

  • Reply
    Ruth Cobb
    September 5, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    This would be really good on a berry pie. My husband talks about a lime ice cream that he had when he was a kid (many years ago. I might try to make a lime one too. Love the ease of this recipe.

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 6, 2013 at 7:06 am

      Thanks Ruth–I agree, this would be fabulous with berries. I love the idea of a lime ice cream, let me know how it turns out if you try it!

  • Reply
    Couscous & Consciousness
    September 5, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Utterly divine. Lemony desserts are my absolute favourite, so I have to try this. I often make a frozen lemon yoghurt in the same way – just a litre of Greek yoghurt, loads of lemon juice and zest, and a bit of sugar, churned up in the ice cream machine – never thought of using milk and cream instead. Love the simplicity of this, and yes a bit of chocolate shell over the top would be pretty divine too I think.

  • Reply
    Suzanne
    August 28, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    What a beautiful, refreshing ice cream! I adore lemon!

  • Reply
    Ann
    July 25, 2013 at 6:12 am

    This was hands down one of our new favorite ice cream recipes. Just tried it last night. So smooth and creamy with the light taste of lemon. Usually chocolate is my first choice but this is going to the top of the list. Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 25, 2013 at 7:39 am

      Thanks, Ann, I just loved it, too. Of course I love chocolate, as well. I guess we’ll have to try to combine them next time!

  • Reply
    Ilan
    July 3, 2013 at 4:05 am

    Sue, your lemon ice cream sounds marvelous. You could probably avoid it getting hard by adding more sugar, to lower the freezing point, but then it would be a tad too sweet for lemon ice cream. Sounds great!

  • Reply
    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic
    July 3, 2013 at 12:47 am

    This sounds delicious!! I don’t think I’ve ever had lemon ice cream – just sorbet – but I know I would like it!

  • Reply
    A Trifle Rushed
    July 2, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Your recipe sounds so delightfully refreshing, I have book marked it for later in the year (I can’t get cream in France, only creme fraiche, so tend not to make ice cream there).

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    July 2, 2013 at 5:10 am

    I love anything lemon but I’ve never tried lemon ice cream. I’m craving a big bowl!

  • Reply
    Mary Younkin
    July 2, 2013 at 4:05 am

    This looks and sounds awesome, Sue. I had scribbled out some ideas for a lemon ice cream, but wow, a 1/2 cup of juice?! I bet that is a serious lemony kick. I need to kick mine up and try your version now. It sounds delicious.

  • Reply
    Denice Barker
    July 2, 2013 at 3:09 am

    I have the same ice cream maker you do and today I made cherry chocolate chunk, yesterday fresh strawberry. Tomorrow mint chocolate! Can you tell me where you get the ice cream containers? I’d love to be able to use them, too.

  • Reply
    belleau kitchen
    July 1, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Wow. Looks so clean and fresh. I love lemon anything. The sharper the better! I’m now on feedly which I’m loving. Great list of ‘ways to follow’ xx

  • Reply
    Eileen
    July 1, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Lemon! This ice cream sounds just perfect for the hot days we’ve been having. Now, if only I can carve out a space for the ice cream maker bowl in our stuffed freezer… :)

  • Reply
    San
    July 1, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    I love lemon and I really love ice cream. The recipe looks so simple. I may make some for the 4th. I shared this recipe over on my blog (full credit given to you of course.) Thanks for a great recipe.

    San

    P.S. You photographs are also a treat.

  • Reply
    Tricia Buice
    July 1, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    Hi my name is Tricia and I’m a lemon addict too. OK … I’m also addicted to ice cream. This recipe will be in my dreams. I made lemon curd ice cream once and loved it. This treat would make me very happy! Thanks Sue – hope you have a wonderful week.

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    July 1, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Um, where’s the lemon extract?

  • Reply
    bellini
    July 1, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    This is such a refreshing treat!!

  • Reply
    Megan
    July 1, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    I absolutely love simple ice creams without cooking and egg yolks. This is my kind of recipe. Can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    July 1, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    I love this ice cream! And I don’t even love lemon, or ice cream (give me a brownie or a cookie usually) but this…I want THIS!

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