Hello Summer! Magic Lemon Ice Cream

lemon ice cream

In celebration of the first official day of summer, this is a recipe for magic lemon ice cream that does not require an ice cream maker, nor any stove top time. The process is incredibly simple and uses just three ingredients: lemons, cream, and sugar. Sometimes I add a bit of rosewater, but I don’t like to fiddle with the ingredients too much because there is obviously some sort of food chemistry magic going on here.

ice cream cones

A few summers ago we brought this ice cream to a barbecue individually portioned in a dozen hollowed out lemons. The hosts’ freezer was completely full so everyone had to eat the ice cream right away, before the meal.

lemon ice cream


When I was a kid I didn’t much care for reading the newspaper. The only parts I liked were the comics, entertainment section (I still remember seeing the photo of Natassja Kinski and the snake for the first time), and once a year the Milk Calendar. The Milk Calendar is produced by the Dairy Farmers of Canada and contains recipes that use milk and other dairy products. When I moved out of my parents house, my relationship with regular newspaper deliveries and the Milk Calendar ended. I actually didn’t know the calendar was still in production until I looked it up just now.

This lemon ice cream recipe is from an old issue of the Milk Calendar. It calls for 1/2 a cup of lemon juice; depending on the size and juiciness of your lemons this will take between 2 to 3 lemons. If you wish you can also add 1 teaspoon of rosewater.

lemon ice cream

Lemon Ice Cream

From the Dairy Farmers of Canada Milk Calendar

2 cups (500ml) whipping cream
1 cup (250 ml) sugar
1/2 cup (125 ml) lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon, chopped

In a stainless steel (non-reactive) bowl whisk together cream and sugar until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.

Stir in lemon juice and zest.

Wrap well with plastic wrap and freeze 6 hours or overnight.

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5 Comments

  1. sam
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    wow! it’s that easy? I really thought it was magic! I must try this right away!!! thank you! Loooove the colours!

    • Oscar
      Posted June 20, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Yes, that easy! I still want an ice cream maker one day though.

  2. Eilin
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Oscar, you’ve made it simple to follow. I’m going to experiment with various fruit, as coconut is one of my top choices.

    • Oscar
      Posted June 24, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      Eilin, you could possibly experiment with small additions of other fruit, or adding some coconut essence. But I believe there’s a specific reaction between the cream, sugar and lemon juice that makes this recipe work without an ice cream maker.
      Let me know how it goes!

  3. Eilin
    Posted June 24, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    You’re right. Will follow through.

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