Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lemon Ice Cream

I have to make a confession- the original plan for this ice cream included pieces of speculoos (crispy gingerbread) mixed into the final product. I baked the cookies a day earlier and had planned on using them, until I realized I should have added more spices to the cookie batter. This is what happens every now and then when experimenting with recipes. I think for every good recipe I find there is one that's pretty average. The speculoos were still good, but not quite right.

I went through with the ice cream plan anyway since I had all the ingredients ready and I love all lemony desserts. I added the sad excuse for speculoos to a small batch of ice cream and left the rest plain (I preferred the plain version). The result was a really creamy and light lemon ice cream. The flavor is not overwhelming, and hits the spot. Even my brother-in-law, the man who claims lemon desserts are awful, was loving this. The flavor of this ice cream makes it a really great summer treat, and I can imagine it would make a great ice cream pie.

Recipe from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop

3 large lemons (preferably unsprayed)
3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar
1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
pinch of salt
5 egg yolks

Set up a food processor. Zest the lemons into the food processor, add the sugar, and blend until the zest is very fine. Warm the milk, 1/2 cup of cream, and lemon-sugar mixture in a saucepan. Once warmed, cover and remove from heat. Let it infuse for 1 hour to help create a stronger lemon flavor.

Re-warm this mixture. In the meantime, pour the rest of the cream (1 1/2 cups) into a large bowl and place a mesh strainer on top.

In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly pour the cream mixture into the egg yolks, beating well the entire time. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the mixture thickens, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan while mixing. Cook this mixture until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon or spatula. Pour the custard through the mesh strainer. Press the lemon zest against the strainer to extract all the liquids. Discard the lemon zest and mix the cream and custard mixture.

Allow to cool over an ice bath. Chill in the refrigerator until cold. Churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. I allowed mine to churn for 30 minutes, then let the ice cream harden in the freezer.

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