Lemon Cream Ice Cream

Make this today.

I’m not kidding. I think this ice cream is going to get me through summer. Because if today’s weather is a taste of what’s to come, Quesnel is gonna get HOT. This Lemon Cream ice cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams cookbook is unreal. It’s not a like a lemon sorbet or those frozen lemonade push-pops we used to eat in the summer. It’s full on creamy, amazing, tart, lemony ice cream. And I can’t stop eating it.

The only reason I bought an ice cream maker was because I bought this book in Ohio. I had been hearing about Jeni’s ice creams for a few months, so the first this I bought in Coshocton at the local Buehler’s grocery store was a pint of Jeni’s Salted Caramel ice cream. Life changing. You can find the book anywhere now, it’s in Vancouver at Gourmet Warehouse or online. If you are in ice cream junky like me, you need it.

Today was my first chance to crack open the book and make something. Everything in the book sounds delicious (watermelon lemonade sorbet, gooey butter cake ice cream, baked apple sorbet), but I really wanted something super summery. So lemon cream ice cream it was.

Besides the heavy cream, you probably have everything you need for this recipe already in your fridge and cupboards. So let’s get to it.

Here is what you will need to make this, also know as The Ingredients:

Lemon Syrup

  • 3 Lemons
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Ice Cream Base

  • 2 cups whole milk (I cheated, used 2%)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch (I used tapioca starch – totally interchangeable)
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • zest of 2 lemons (reserved from lemon syrup)

For the lemon syrup:

Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from 2 of the lemons in large strips and reserve for the ice cream base. Your strips should look like this:

Halve the lemons and squeeze enough juice to make 1/2 cup (I needed 2 and a half lemons).

Combine the lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a immer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and refrigerate until cold.

For the ice cream base:

mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry, like so:

Please forgive the terrible lighting in my kitchen. I’m working on it. But your slurry should be totally smooth, no lumps. Unlike my thighs.

Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth:

I just kind of smooshed. Also, the reflection in the bowl makes me look like a giant egg yolk. Attractive!

Fill a large bowl with ice and water, like so:

Needs more ice.


Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup and lemon zest in a 4-quart saucepan.

Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat and boil for 4 minutes.

While the milk mixture is boiling, you should try to get everything ready around your stove, because shit gets real from here on out. You need to move pretty quickly.

Once the mixture has boiled for 4 minutes, remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Return to the heat and bring back to a boil, stirring constantly until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Now, gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. The bowl I used was too small to hold the entire milk mixture, so I whisked in enough to make the cheese and milk smooth, then added it back to the pan.

Action shot!

Pour the mixture into a 1 gallon Ziploc freezer bag. Don’t burn yourself. I certainly didn’t…..not burn myself. Ouch

Submerge the sealed bag (and your burned hand) into the ice bath.

Add more ice, if needed. I needed. 


Leave submerged until cold, about 30 minutes.

Make theeself a balanced snack, because you deserve it.


Those chocolates came to me all the way from Amish Country in Ohio for graduation. Thanks Auntie Deb!

Back to business: Remove the lemon zest from the mixture. This was a giant pain in the ass, because the mixture becomes the consistency of thick pudding when cooled. If I could have found my mesh sieve I would have used it, but instead I had to use a slotted spoon.


Turn on your ice cream maker and pour the mixture in.

Action shot!

The easiest way to get it all in there was to snip a corner of the bag. While easy, I felt like there was a lot of delicious mixture left in the bag. Next time I’ll use a bowl with a spout so I can scrape it down.

Pour the reserved lemon syrup through the top of the machine and let that baby stir it up. If you read that and then got the Bob Marley song stuck in your head, we should be friends.

Let the ice cream maker do the work which you do the dishes. Or be like me and just stare into the endless whirlpool of ice cream for the next half hour, occasionally dipping your spoon in and pretending like you just saved the world.

It’s devil worship, that’s what it is.

When the mixture is thick and creamy, pack the ice cream into a storage container. I put mine in a big yogurt container and it fit perfectly. Bonus, it disguises your ice cream! ALL MINE. Let it freeze for about 4 hours.

This is the best part of making ice cream.

Om nom nom.

Totally nommed.

Overall, this ice cream is incredible. And way easier (and cheaper!) than making a custard with egg yolks and whatnot for ice cream. I’m in love. Now come visit so I can begrudgingly share this with you.


One thought on “Lemon Cream Ice Cream

  1. Pingback: Weekend Stuff | Stuck In The North

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