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container of lemon ice cream with a scoop in the middle

Lemon Ice Cream

  • Author: Deborah Harroun
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 9 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/2 quarts, 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: American


Tart and sweet and not lacking at all in lemon flavor, this Lemon Ice Cream is the perfect summertime citrus treat.



  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 23 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. In a medium saucepan, combined 1 cup of the heavy cream, the half-and-half, sugar, lemon zest and salt. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Turn the heat off and place a cover over the pan and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Place the egg yolks in a bowl and beat lightly.
  3. When the cream mixture has sat for 30 minutes, gradually stir the mixture into the eggs, whisking the eggs continuously. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and return it to medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a spatula, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the remaining cup of cream and the lemon juice. (I like to run the lemon juice through a sieve to keep any pulp and seeds out.) Place a large strainer over the mixture and pour the thickened mixture in the strainer to remove any lumps and the lemon zest.
  5. Stir the mixture together well and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until completely chilled, preferably overnight.
  6. Once chilled, freeze the ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s manufacturer instructions.
  7. *At this point, my ice cream is the consistency of a soft serve ice cream, so I like to place it in a freezer safe container and freeze until fully set up.

Recipe Notes:

For very tart ice cream, add the full 3 tablespoons of lemon zest. For not as much tartness, add 2 tablespoons.

Nutrition information provided as an estimate only. Various brands and products can change the counts. Any nutritional information should be used as a general guide.


  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 289
  • Sugar: 21 g
  • Sodium: 52 mg
  • Fat: 23 g
  • Saturated Fat: 12 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 23 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 97 mg

Keywords: lemon ice cream, lemon ice cream recipe, homemade ice cream, lemon dessert, summer dessert