How To Prepare Lemon Ice Cream Easy

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There’s nothing quite like a scoop of cool, refreshing ice cream on a hot summer day. But store-bought varieties can be loaded with sugar, artificial flavors, and questionable ingredients. Why not ditch the store and whip up a batch of delicious homemade lemon ice cream? It’s surprisingly easy, requires minimal ingredients, and allows you to control the sweetness and flavor profile.

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to make perfect lemon ice cream at home, from gathering the ingredients to churning out a creamy, delightful treat.

No-Churn Lemon Ice Cream
No-Churn Lemon Ice Cream

Ingredients (h2)

Making homemade lemon ice cream requires just a handful of basic ingredients:

Heavy cream: This provides a rich, smooth texture to the ice cream. You can substitute full-fat coconut milk for a dairy-free alternative.

  • Milk: Whole milk creates the creamiest ice cream, but you can use low-fat or skim milk for a lighter option.
  • Granulated sugar: Sweetens the ice cream to your desired taste.
  • Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is key for the bright, zesty flavor.
  • Lemon zest: Adds another layer of citrusy goodness.
  • Kosher salt: A pinch of salt enhances all the other flavors.
  • Egg yolks (optional): Using egg yolks creates a richer, custard-style ice cream. However, this recipe works perfectly without them if you prefer a vegan option.

  • Equipment (h3)

    In addition to the ingredients, you’ll need a few tools:

    Large saucepan: For heating the cream and milk mixture.

  • Whisk: For whisking together the egg yolks and sugar (if using).
  • Strainer: For straining out any lemon zest or egg yolk curdles (if using).
  • Ice cream maker: An ice cream maker is essential for churning the ice cream. Many stand mixers come with an ice cream maker attachment, or you can purchase a standalone electric ice cream maker.
  • Ice cream container: Choose an airtight container to store your homemade ice cream in the freezer.

  • Directions (h2)

    Here’s a step-by-step guide to making delicious lemon ice cream:

    1. Prepare the lemon: Grate the zest from one lemon, taking care to avoid the white pith, which can be bitter. Then, juice the lemon, aiming for about ½ cup of fresh juice.
    2. Heat the cream and milk: In a large saucepan, combine the heavy cream, milk, and sugar. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture simmers gently. Do not let it boil.
    3. Temper the egg yolks (if using): In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks (if using) until slightly beaten. Slowly whisk a small amount of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks to temper them. This prevents the yolks from scrambling when added to the hot liquid. Gradually whisk the tempered egg yolks back into the hot cream mixture in the saucepan.
    4. Cook the mixture: Increase the heat to medium-low and cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until it thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon. This will take about 5-7 minutes. Do not let the mixture boil.
    5. Remove from heat: Once thickened, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and zest. Add a pinch of salt.
    6. Strain the mixture: Pour the ice cream base through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl. This will remove any cooked egg yolk curdles (if using) or lemon zest.
    7. Chill the base: Let the ice cream base cool completely at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Then, cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight, for optimal chilling and flavor development.
    8. Churn the ice cream: Once thoroughly chilled, churn the ice cream base according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. This typically takes 20-25 minutes.
    9. Freeze the ice cream: Once churned, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze for at least 4 hours, or until firm.

    Tips for Success (h3)

    Here are some additional tips to ensure your homemade lemon ice cream turns out perfectly:

    Use fresh ingredients: Fresh lemon juice and zest are essential for the best flavor.

  • Don’t overcook the base: Overheating the cream mixture can lead to a cooked or eggy taste.