Lemon Ice Cream Recipe

As the warmth of spring weather settles in, what better way to embrace the season than with a delightful homemade lemon ice cream? Bursting with fresh citrus flavor and a creamy texture, this easy lemon ice cream is a favorite of my whole family. I love this ice cream as it but it’s the perfect topping for a summer berry pie like this one or this one

Ingredients for Creamy Lemon Ice Cream:

  • Heavy cream
  • Whole milk
  • Sugar
  • Egg yolks
  • Lemon zest
  • Fresh lemon juice 
  • Pinch of salt

Special Equipment:

  • Medium bowl
  • Saucepan
  • Ice Cream Machine
  • Airtight container for storage

How to make Fresh Lemon Ice Cream:

  1.  In a large bowl, slightly beat the egg yolks to break them up. Heat heavy cream, milk, and sugar over medium-low heat in a large heavy saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Slowly pour the hot the milk mixture over the eggs while whisking constantly. Return the combined mixture to the saucepan and slowly cook on medium heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Stir in the lemon juice and zest. 

  2. If you don’t care for the texture of the zest you can pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer to strain anything out and make it extra smooth.
  3. Transfer to a heat proof bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly touching the custard base. Refrigerate the base for several hours. Pour custard into the ice cream maker and churn ice cream until it’s the consistency of soft serve. Enjoy right away, or freeze for and extra hour or two if you like your ice cream a little firmer!
  4. Serve with fresh raspberries, berry sauce, or strawberry compote.

With its creamy texture, fresh lemon flavor, and vibrant color, this homemade lemon ice cream recipe is the perfect summer dessert. Whether enjoyed on its own or as a complement to a warm slice of berry pie, this recipe is one of my all time favorites.  So, grab your ice cream maker and some fresh lemons, and churn up a batch!

Why do you have to chill the ice cream mixture?

Chilling the mixture helps it freeze better. Starting it off very cold makes it freeze more quickly and easily. 

Can I use meyer lemons?

Definitely- they would add a wonderful mellow lemon flavor. 

Can I use less sugar?

I think this recipe is the perfect combination of sweet and sour, but you could experiment with reducing the sugar by a tablespoon or two at a time. 

Strawberry Pie with Creamy Lemon Ice Cream

Other lime or lemon desserts you may love:

Other homemade ice cream recipes:

What Ice Cream maker to use:

I have the KitchenAid attachment but the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker is also really popular. I also love this freezer-safe container for storing my ice cream. 

Creamy Lemon Ice Cream

Creamy Lemon Ice Cream

Yield: 1 quart of ice cream

Creamy Lemon Ice Cream perfect for summer!

Ingredients

  • Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar or 2/3 cup agave nectar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream

Instructions

    1. In a large bowl, slightly beat the egg yolks to break them up. Heat heavy cream, milk, and sugar to a simmer in a large heavy saucepan. Slowly pour the hot the milk mixture over the eggs and return combined mixture to the saucepan and slowly cook on medium heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Stir in the lemon juice and zest.

    2. Refrigerate for several hours. Chun in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. (Freeze for and extra hour or two if you like your ice cream a little firmer!)

Did you make this recipe?

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29 Comments

  1. I truly think an ice cream maker is my next purchase! Any recommendations?

    And as always, an amazing recipe. I hope to be able to try it soon!

  2. I am a bit scared using “raw” eggs so I hope there is a way of leaving them out and still have tasty ice cream. Love the little specs of lemon in your ice cream.

  3. It was hotter here in Boston than it has been in over 100 years! I could use a big bowl of this. The lemon flavour has to be extra refreshing.

  4. Lilly- The eggs aren’t raw actually. You cook them in a saucepan with milk to form a custard of sorts. That is what makes the ice cream so creamy and delicious!

  5. The first time I had lemon ice cream was in Michigan. It’s my father’s favorite. This one looks way better than the one I made for him once. His birthday is in March…..

  6. Looks amazing. I, too, love a creamy custardy ice cream, and lemon is my favorite flavor (of everything). Glad to hear you saved the yolks… I read a post the other day where the author admitted to baking, eating one slice and then tossing the rest :( Creatively definitely won out with this ice cream.

  7. Yum-who would not want a big scoop of this frosty lemon ice cream! If there is someone, I will gladly eat their share. Thanks for posting this lemony treat!

  8. I wish we had some of your heat! Here not so great but you’ve brought the sunshine with this ice cream. Tried it tonight and it was beautful with some strawberries. Gorgeous, thank you!

  9. Wow… this sounds perfect for the heat! I have been guzzling down ice cream, and I wish I had some of this yummy ice cream! Sounds really, really refreshing & delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe…

  10. Oh, my! Absolutely amazing. I added fresh thyme. I also used half and half because I didn’t have any milk on hand. Homemade ice cream I’ve made in the past has never turned out this creamy!

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