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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