Lemon Overload: Homemade Ice Cream with Crushed Lemon Candy Topping

As I promised earlier this month — today’s post is an incredibly easy lemon ice cream topped with crushed lemon candies.  I am a sucker for these homemade ice creams (in case you couldn’t tell!) because the kitchen labor is minimal.

It takes less than 15 minutes to make the base (depending on the flavor), about 90 minutes for the first freeze (I catch up on TV while I wait), a quick minute of blending and smoothing, and then the ice cream firms up overnight in the freezer and awaits me in the morning!  The only thing you really must do when making these ice creams is clean your food processor and wipe out any ice cream residue.  Definitely not the worst chore I can think of!

Lemon Ice Cream with Crushed Lemon Candy Topping
Serves 6.  This recipe is adapted from “Mango Ice Cream” from The Essential Asian Cookbook.  Please see my Resources page for more information on the original recipe and publication.

The ice cream is tart with lemon flavor.  I think the lemon in this ice cream is similar to frozen lemonade, Italian ice, or lemon sorbet.  If you prefer to dial back the lemon intensity, add only 3/4 cup lemon juice or an extra 1/8 cup caster sugar.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup caster sugar (see Method)
about 1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
1 cup whipping cream
a handful of lemon candies, for topping

Equipment:
electric mixer
food processor
juicer
large plastic food storage container with cover
meat mallet
plastic bag
zester

Method:
If needed, use your food processor before beginning the recipe to blend 1/2 cup of white granulated sugar into caster sugar, a superfine version of sugar.  Blend for a few minutes until you have a very fine, dusty consistency.

Use a zester to zest the lemons.

The lemons all lined up on my cutting board.

Four small-ish lemons yielded this much zest.  Approx a heaping tablespoon.

Use less zest if you like, or add lime or orange for a summery, rainbow of citrus!

Cut each lemon in half and juice them with a juicer.  I like pulpy bits of lemon in my ice cream, but you can strain them out if you prefer.

Fresh lemon juice…

Combine the caster sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a mixing bowl.  Stir to dissolve the sugar into the citrus.

The citrus base — definitely lemony!

Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup of whipping cream until stiff peaks form.  Then, very gently, fold the whipped cream into the lemon mixture, until well-incorporated.

Here is the resulting ice cream … every so often, a speck of lemon zest.

Place the ice cream in a plastic food storage container with a cover and freeze it for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the ice cream is half-frozen.

Remove the ice cream from the freezer and process until smooth, about 1 minute.

Any little bits of whipped cream are blended smooth before the final freezing.

Transfer the ice cream back to the plastic container and allow the mixture to freeze completely.  (I have always left it in the freezer overnight.)

This is how the ice cream looks after spending the night in the freezer…

When you are ready to serve, allow the ice cream to thaw for a few minutes at room temperature while preparing the topping.

To make the topping:
Place a handful of lemon candies in a sealed plastic bag and crush them finely with a meat mallet.  Sprinkle the crushed candy topping over the bowls of ice cream to garnish.

These are the candies I used. There are also more sugared varieties…

Sprinkle the ice cream with candy splinters to decorate.


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