Fresh Lemon Ice Cream is like no other ice cream you’ve ever had ~ the zippy, tart, citrus flavor is unique and so refreshing because it’s made with lots of fresh lemon juice.
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.
- 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)
- Mix the cream, milk, and sugar together and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Add the food coloring if you are going to use it.
- 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.
- You can eat it soft right from the machine, or freeze it longer for a firmer scoop.
- 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.