Sometime ago, during my college years, I used my mother’s ice cream machine to make a favorite frozen dessert, but my first experience with making ice cream was unsatisfactory. With no more than three attempts of using the machine and not producing the ice cream I hoped to produce, I decided to call it quits. With no one interested in making ice cream, Mom eventually retired the bulky small appliance somewhere in the depths of one of her kitchen cabinets.
Last week, I decided that I would make lemon custard for lunch with two fabulous female friends. They both were coming from far distances (at least half an hour drive) and the least I could do was to make a luncheon as fab as they are. We have Meyer lemons so I thought I’d make something lovely with them. However, the lemon custard, that was supposed to be for dessert, never materialized on our Thursday lunch date (yesterday) because this past Monday, I aspired to make lemon ice cream instead… without an ice cream machine!
To make sure my attempt is successful, I read Harold McGee’s research on frozen desserts and ice cream in On Food and Cooking, and read various articles online on “how to make ice cream without an ice cream machine” and found David Lebovitz’ to be the best. Using the method Lebovitz shared and a simple lemon custard recipe, I made a successful first attempt. So thank you, MM. McGee et Lebovitz.
Lemon Ice Cream
1 c lemon sugar*
4 egg yolks
2 tbs lemon juice
2 c milk, heated
1-1/4 c heavy cream, heated
Combine sugar, yolks, and juice over low heat or using a double boiler. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and thick. Add the heated cream then milk. When mixture is combined, chill over an ice bath. Transfer the cooled custard mixture into a freezer-safe container. Chill the mixture and check about 60 minutes after. Take out the mixture and thoroughly whisk it, making sure to incorporate the frozen edges. For every 45 minutes after, repeat the process 3-4 times. As the mixture freezes, it’ll become harder to whisk so make sure to use a sturdy spatula. In about 4 hours, the ice cream will be ready. Patience is key here, so have lots of it.
For a creamier texture, decrease the amount of milk added by a cup and the amount of sugar by a 1/4 cup, and increase the yolks by two more.
Smile and serve.
* If you don’t have lemon sugar, increase the lemon juice to 1 cup and use regular sugar.