I know that the heat of summer is on its way — although we have been spared thus far–and I am ready for it!. Summer is a lot more bearable when you know there’s a batch of homemade ice cream in the freezer. I really love ice cream, and just about any flavor will satisfy me when I have a craving, so we only splurge once in a while.
Last summer I treated myself to an ice cream maker, and began to collect recipes for ice cream. It’s amazing the variety of flavors that people come up with. One of those flavors is lemon ice cream. That in itself is not so unusual, but I usually associate lemon with sherbet, not ice cream, so I was very anxious to give it a go. Also this recipe does not contain eggs, so there is no custard making involved. What it does contain is a little cream cheese, along with half and half, some whipped cream, and milk, so the finished ice cream has a very smooth and creamy mouth-feel. Not at all icy. I particularly love it just as it comes out of the ice cream maker and it’s at the soft-serve stage. That’s when you put it in a container in the freezer to further harden before eating it. (If you can wait that long!)
The flavor of this ice cream reminds me of cheesecake which got me to thinking that if I make it again I would increase the amount of cream cheese to further enhance that “cheesy ” flavor. And I mean that in a good way!! Really, though, I don’t think there’s anything you can do that would ruin this ice-cream. You could increase the cream and decrease the milk, for a richer product; or to decrease calories and fat, omit the cream and increase the milk. This is one really “cool” recipe to play around with.
LEMON ICE CREAM
Yield: Makes a half gallon
- 3 ounces cream cheese (use reduced fat variety if you prefer.)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 package lemon gelatin
- 1 cup half and half
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- zest of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. lemon extract
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
- 4 cups milk ( 1 quart)
- yellow food coloring, optional
1. With electric mixer on medium, combine the cream cheese, sugar and gelatin. Mix well.
2. Gradually add in the half and half, lemon juice, zest, and lemon and vanilla extracts. Beat until smooth.
3. In another small bowl, whip the cream. Fold into the lemon mixture.
4. Add the milk and incorporate evenly into the mixture. If you are using yellow food coloring, add a few drops, and mix in well.
5. Transfer to the canister of an ice cream maker and follow maker’s instructions for whipping.
6. Place ice cream in a freezer container to harder sufficiently before serving.
Please note: This recipe makes a large quantity (total of about 8 cups ) and in my ice cream maker I could only process half of the mixture at a time. Since the ice cream canister needed to refreeze between batches, I spread the process over two days, keeping the ice cream mixture cold in the refrigerator over night. The second batch of it came out as good as the first.