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Fresh homemade Lemon Ice Cream has just 4 ingredients and is utterly creamy and refreshing. This tart treat is like homemade frozen yogurt when served soft serve, or chill and scoop for a tangy, unforgettable, satisfying dessert treat!
Lemon Ice Cream is a real food recipe that’s free of refined sugars.
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How does Lemon Ice Cream taste
Different approaches exist when you make ice cream.
With this recipe, I decided refreshing was the key, while still keeping that incredible creamy mouthfeel experience.
Lemon Ice Cream is refreshing and tart. It’ll likely make you feel happy, thankful and content.
This satisfying flavor is not heavy, but I hesitate to call any great real food ice cream “light”.
When served fresh from the ice cream maker, Lemon Ice Cream tastes a little like soft serve frozen yogurt, very creamy and fresh tasting with a rapturous mouthfeel!
Once frozen, scooped Lemon Ice Cream is simply wonderful. For the best texture, set it out on the counter for 20 minutes or so before scooping.
Ingredients in Lemon Ice Cream
Depending on a couple of optional ingredients, Lemon Ice Cream has 4 to 6 ingredients:
- water — This is the most unusual ingredient for most people to see in an ice cream recipe! But, water actually creates the right, and a great, mouthfeel in ice cream, when it’s used with heavy cream. You may also substitute your favorite milk of choice if you prefer, BUT water is more affordable and allergy-friendly! Water is easy and comes with no new nutritional challenges, so it works for everyone. And, it really does create the perfect Lemon Ice Cream!
- heavy cream — Use the best quality cream you can find. I like to buy A2A2 cream, raw and/or local cream. For GAPS, use real probiotic sour cream. (This is delicious.)
- sweetener — You will choose your sweetener based on your diet. Keto: use allulose, which is the best low carb liquid sweetener for making ice cream. Primal, VAD, Low Oxalate and Low Salicylate: I recommend agave nectar, or if you don’t mind the added flavor and amber color in your Lemon Ice Cream, maple syrup. For GAPS or anyone who prefers it, honey may also be used, but not for Low Salicylate.
- fresh lemon juice — Make sure to use fresh lemon. In a recipe where Lemon is the featured ingredient, only fresh will do.
- vodka — Yes, this is optional! Only 2 teaspoons in the recipe help to create a smoother, creamier mouthfeel and the best scoopability if you freeze the product to scoop it later. Totally fine to leave it out if it doesn’t work for you. You may also use the same amount of pure vanilla extract if you don’t mind the layers of flavor (vanilla and lemon), for the same effect. If you’re going for the best gourmet outcome, include vodka in the recipe. If you leave it out, you will still love the ice cream.
- sea salt — This ingredient heightens the flavors, but your ice cream will not taste salty.
How to make Lemon Ice Cream
Use a blender OR mixing bowl and whisk to combine the ingredients.
- Combine all of the ingredients, except the cream, to dissolve the sweetener and sea salt.
- Turn on ice cream maker, and pour in the mix.
- Once churning, add in the cream.
- Freeze until creamy, frozen and expanded.
- Enjoy, or pour into storage container, and freeze until you’re ready to scoop.
Lemon Ice Cream (Keto, Primal, Low Oxalate, Low Salicylate, GAPS, VAD)
- ice cream maker
- mixing bowl and whisk OR blender
- 2 cups water (yes, water)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup liquid sweetener of choice Keto: use allulose, which is the best low carb liquid sweetener for making ice cream. Primal, VAD, Low Oxalate and Low Salicylate: agave nectar, or if you don't mind the added flavor and amber color in your Lemon Ice Cream, maple syrup. For GAPS or anyone who prefers it, honey, but not for Low Salicylate.
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice from 1 large very juicy lemon, or you may need more than one, if it's not big and juicy
- 2 teaspoons vodka optional, but creates the best texture
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- TIPS for success: Be sure freezer bowl from your ice cream maker has frozen at the coldest setting in your freezer overnight before beginning this recipe. (A "warm" freezer, or bowl that's only chilled for a few hours, will not yield a successful ice cream.) Also make sure your freezer bowl freezes level, not at an angle.
- Pre-chill loaf pan, or other storage container for the ice cream, by placing it in the freezer while you make the ice cream. Assemble ingredients.
- In blender or large mixing bowl, whisk together water, sweetener, lemon juice, optional vodka and sea salt, until sweetener and sea salt are well-dissolved into water.
- Begin ice cream maker turning. Once churning, add sweet lemon mix. Next, pour in the cup of heavy cream. Churn until creamy, frozen and ice cream is beginning to bulge up as it expands.
- Serve freshly churned for a soft-serve "frozen yogurt" type experience. Otherwise: Pour/scoop Lemon Ice Cream into chilled storage container. Freeze for 1 to 3 hours before serving if you want to scoop it. For overnight storage, cover with a piece of parchment paper pressed directly onto the surface. Keeps 3 days, but is best within 1 day. If it's well-frozen before serving, place in the fridge for up 30 minutes to create the right scoopability, or on the counter for up to 20 minutes.
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