I'm about 3 weeks late to the party, but if you haven't heard, July is National Ice Cream Month! It's been a sweltering July and we've eaten more than our fair share of ice cream here, but surprisingly little of it has been homemade. In fact, I think this lemon ice cream might be the first recipe I've made this month. It's a really, really good one though - probably in my top 3 homemade flavors of all time!
I have been obsessed with all things citrus, but especially lemon, for some time now; I find it impossible to walk through the produce section at my grocery store without grabbing at least a few lemons and limes. Just in case :) This isn't the first lemony ice cream I've posted - a few years ago this lemon curd ice cream stole my heart, and I've made it countless times since. The only downside to that recipe is that it calls for lemon curd, so unless you happen to have some on hand, there's some extra work involved. With this lemon ice cream, you simply use the zest and juice of the lemon so it definitely comes together more quickly. And it is seriously amazing - so creamy and refreshing! You definitely need to be a lemon fan to enjoy this one, it's packed with lemon flavor and just the right blend of sweet and tart. Shane wouldn't dream of eating lemon ice cream, and that's just fine with me - I'm glad to have this one all to myself :)
Lemon Ice Cream
adapted from Gourmet, June 1993 (originally seen on Lulu the Baker)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
2 cups half-and-half, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, egg yolks, salt and 1 cup of the half-and-half to a medium saucepan. Whisk to combine. Set the pan over medium heat, and whisking constantly, cook until the mixture registers 170-175 F on an instant read thermometer. Remove from the heat and strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl. Allow to cool briefly, then whisk in the remaining 1 cup of half-and-half and the vanilla. Press a piece of plastic against the surface of the custard and refrigerate until very cold - overnight is best but at least 6 hours.
Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to airtight container and freeze until firm, at least a few hours.