Ice Cream has to be my biggest weakness.
This is pretty great ice cream too. It’s made with organic dairy (thanks Lewis Road Creamery), free range organic eggs, organic golden caster sugar and some homegrown Meyer lemons, grown by my dad (thanks Dad), and they’re pretty fabulous. His tree literally drips with these beautiful, perfectly formed lemons, we can never get through them however hard I try.
A few weeks ago I was in San Fransisco and stopped by Bi-Rite Creamery. I did my homework before I went and this was on my must-try list (note, not must-dos, food was a priority). It was just, the whole experience was perfect, the staff are fantastic, so lovely, and there were so many tasters and then once i’d finally chosen there was a perfect marble slab outside for taking a photo. I’m getting excited thinking about it. They also have a book, which I bought, and which will more than likely supply the basis for a lot of future ice-cream recipes. Pictured below I tried Strawberry-Balsamic, Basil and Honey-Lavender. Amazing, different, simple, look them up if you’re ever over that way! I also liked there sister store, Bi-Rite Market which had so much organic, local produce and supplies – I wish I had been there long enough to sample more.
Naturally when I got home I procured an ice cream maker pretty quickly, it’s almost Summer after all.
First up was a combination of homegrown lemons, and new recipe books.
The lemon ice-cream from the Bi-Rite book uses lemon curd for flavouring so the acid doesn’t split the custard, I may have stopped reading the recipe toward the end and ended up putting way over the suggested amount of curd in but I have no regrets. It’s tastes like semi-frozen lemon curd and is so smooth! Also, I used small, not large eggs because they were the ones I could get a hold of. It was delicious for lunch as soft serve, and it has been the nicest treat after work all week. I can’t wait to make another batch but also, rarely make the same thing twice so I might have to wait a while.
Meyer Lemon Ice Cream
(Adapted slightly from Bi-Rite Creamery’s Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones)
Both the lemon curd and the base will need to be chilled before churning for a minimum of 2 hours, mine took around 3. Make them the night before if you’re tight on time on the day you plan to churn. Remember to put your ice-cream bowl into the freezer the night before too.
- 3 Large Meyer Lemons
- 9 Small-Medium/7 Large Egg Yolks
- 3/4 Cup Golden Caster Sugar
- Pop a few inches of water into a saucepan and bring to the boil, not too high though, when you rest a non-reactive (glass or stainless steel) bowl on top you don’t want it to touch the water.
- Into your non-reactive bowl zest the lemons. Make sure you do this straight into to bowl so you catch all of the tiny amounts of lemon oil that will fly off. It should be around 3 tablespoons of zest.
- Juice the lemons and measure out a half a cup of the juice into a seperate bowl. Save the rest of the juice for another time, I used mine to add to water all week.
- Whisk your egg yolks into the zest, then whisk in your sugar, then whisk in the juice. I think the order is important but I messed mine up, so don’t worry too much.
- Pop the bowl on top of your saucepan and cook your mixture, whisking frequently, until it is thick and resembles custard, it will leave a trail when stirred. It should take about 10 minutes. Make sure you don’t run out of water by checking the level.
- When the curd has thickened pour into a sieve and press through into a bowl. Plastic wrap the top of your gorgeous, smooth curd and place into the fridge until cool.
Make your ice cream base next.
Ice Cream Base
- 7 Small-Medium/5 Large Egg Yolks
- 1/2 Cup Golden Caster Sugar
- 1 3/4 Cups Cream
- 3/4 Cup Milk (I used Lewis Road’s Whole, Non-Homogenised Milk just to try and it was great!)
- 1/4 Teaspoon Organic Salt
- Take a medium heatproof bowl and whisk the yolks to gently break them, then whisk in a quarter cup of sugar. Set aside.
- In a heavy saucepan (non-reactive) combine the rest of the sugar with the cream, milk and salt and put the pan on a medium-high heat. When the mixture just reaches a simmer reduce you heat to medium-low.
- Scoop out around 1/2 a cup of the hot cream mixture and pour slowly into the egg yolks. Stir with a silicon scraper constantly whilst pouring so you don’t heat the eggs too fast and cook them. Repeat with another 1/2 a cup.
- Slowly pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the cream and cook gently, stirring constantly until it is thickened. You can tell when the mixture will coat the back of a spoon and hold a path when you run your finger through it (careful).
- Strain the base into a clean container and set the container into an ice-water bath. Stir the base occasionally until it is cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, around 2-3 hours.
To Freeze Your Ice Cream
- Put 3/4 Cup of lemon curd into a medium bowl and whisk in your ice cream base a little at a time to prevent lumps. Don’t do this the other way around as it will take forever to whisk smooth. At this point, you could just give up on the recipe and pop all of your lemon curd into that medium bowl, you probably should, like I said, no regrets.
- Freeze in an ice-cream machine as per your machine’s instructions. Always enjoy at least some immediately but this will keep in the freezer covered for about a week. Leave for four hours to freeze completely.