I've been doing a lot of lemon desserts since a friend at work gave me a bunch of her ginormous end-of-crop Meyer lemons. They sat in my fridge for a couple of weeks before I decided what I wanted to make with them, but I've been making up for lost time ever since.
I started by making lemon curd using my favorite recipe (you can find it here). I made a double recipe, so I had plenty of luscious lemon curd to play with. First up were lemon curd scones and now this ice cream.
Some people confine ice cream to the warmer months (I lean in this direction myself), but others enjoy it year round. That's great news since lemons are a winter fruit and it would be a shame to miss out on this ice cream because the seasons don't cooperate with the fruit.
This ice cream starts with a basic custard, to which you add lemon curd. Yowza, how great does that sound? I doubled the amount of lemon curd since what is lemon curd but a custard with lemon in it, and what is vanilla ice cream but a custard? The mad scientist in me thought of dumping the entire bowl of lemon curd in the ice cream maker but I resisted. Maybe next time.
I heard about this ice cream from some of my Twitter buddies. Kayte was almost in a state of rapture (she L-O-V-E-S lemon). I read Tracey's post about it, and she loved it, then Margaret raved about it. Three for three, so I simply had to make it, even though fall weather had definitely arrived.
When I made it, I didn't read the recipe before I made it and thought it was a typo that the cream wasn't added with the milk, so I tossed it in too. So I missed the part of the recipe where you're supposed to whip the cream and add it to the chilled custard. And it was so fabulous that I'll do it exactly the same way next time I make it. I can't imagine it being any lighter or creamier.
The true test of how good this was is that we have chocolate gelatto in the freezer, and this lemon ice cream is the one we go for every time. Yes, it's that good.
Lemon Curd Ice Cream (adapted from Murphy's Ice Cream Book of Sweet Things by way of Tracey's Culinary Adventures)
5 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/2 cup lemon curd
zest of one lemon
Bring the milk and cream to a low simmer in a saucepan. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale yellow. Temper the eggs by pouring in the milk in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and place over low heat. Stir continuously until the custard thickens slightly and just coats the back of a spoon (about 170 F). Immediately remove pan from the heat.
Add the lemon curd and lemon zest to the warm custard, stirring to incorporate fully. Cover the custard with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the custard from the refrigerator and strain it to remove the lemon zest (unless you like it in there). Churn mixture in ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. The ice cream will still be fairly soft after churning so transfer it to a freezer-proof container and freeze until solid.