I could so go for a big scoop of this ice cream right now.
You guys, I’ve been sick for the past week. This never happens. I pride myself on never getting ill. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been sick in the past 10 years. However, throw a toddler who is attending daycare a couple days a week into the mix, and neither my pride nor my immunity stand a chance.
It all started last week with the WORST sore throat ever. OK, maybe not EVER (I’m a tad dramatic about these things) since I don’t have strept throat, but it was definitely the worst sore throat I’ve had since I was a kid. SO BAD. I could barely eat that poutine I shared with you guys a few days ago. You know it’s gotta be bad to keep me from something that ridiculous. I barely had any appetite (a serious symptom in my world). The only things I was really interested in were copious amounts of hot tea with honey, soup, throat lozenges, and ice cream. An odd combo of things but effective if your throat feels like you swallowed a piece of hot coal.
The sore throat lasted three days. And then the energy zapping set in. And then the congestion and irritating, dry cough. Ugh. I’ve been a mess!
The only upside is that I’ve been having a small bowl of ice cream almost every night. This never happens. I looooove ice cream and often don’t keep it in the house because Dan and I can demolish a container in a matter of hours (insert red-faced, embarrassed emoji here). It’s like dessert kryptonite for us. The solution is to avoid it altogether whenever possible.
BUT! When I came down with this head cold last week, all I wanted was ice cream. Dan was sweet enough to stop at the store on his way home from work one night to stock up our ice cream supply. I don’t know which one of us was more giddy about it. He was practically saying “I’m so GLAD you got sick, honey!” Hah. Not really, but you know what I mean.
And while I love my go-to flavors of mint chocolate chip or peanut butter ripple, I often crave fruit-flavored frozen desserts. I love sorbet. I love sherbet. I love anything and everything lemon. So, when busting out my ice cream maker for the first time in months a few weeks ago, I knew something light and lemony was going to happen. I was craving it!
This lemon ice cream base is unbelievably CREAMY. It’s kind of ridiculous how silky and rich it tastes. I used a slightly different method than I have in the past. Usually, I start with warming up the milk/cream and then tempering the egg yolks with the hot liquid before adding them to the pot. This is how I’ve always made ice cream.
After doing some research on ice cream making techniques, however, I came across a few recipes that started with heating up the egg yolks first and then adding in the liquids. It seemed weird to me, but I decided to give it a try anyway.
I have no idea why and I could totally be making this up in my head, but using this method yielded a much silkier, creamier ice cream. There is no science to back this up, hah; I’m just reporting my experience. I also noticed that the eggs didn’t curdle or scramble using this method (when I do the opposite, I almost always have some scrambled egg that gets strained out before chilling and churning). Again, I have no idea why but…I’ll take it!
The ice cream was so luscious and lemony and lovely (alliteration for the win!). But it definitely needed some texture. While my original intent was to make a simple lemon ice cream, the addition of poppy seeds came to mind while the ice cream was churning. Lemon and poppy seeds have a natural affinity for one another, and so, on a whim, I poured in a couple tablespoons of seeds and churned them into the dreamy lemon cream.
The result? A totally fun, totally delicious ice cream! The crunch of the poppy seeds was perfect and just what I thought was missing. Now, disclaimer: you definitely have to be a fan of the poppy seed crunch for this recipe to work for you. I mean, sure, you could absolutely just make the lemon ice cream and not add the poppy seeds. It’s freaking fantastic. BUT! If you’re like me and love a little texture to keep things interesting, go for the poppy seeds. It’s fun!
I’m curious to see if this new-to-me method will yield the same results with different ice cream recipes. There’s only one way to find out, right? I’ll report back.
All I know is that I am so happy I gave it a try. This ice cream was so deliciously creamy and rich but light and lemony too! It was one of those recipes that I was SO GLAD I made. Like, it made my truly giddy and happy when all was said and done. I probably looked like an idiot, happily grinning as I licked my ice cream cone like a 5-year-old child. By myself. In the middle of the day on a Thursday.
If only I had timed it better with this darn cold! Maybe I’ll make another batch this weekend…
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
Pinch of fine salt
1 teaspoon lemon extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
Whisk the lemon zest, juice, sugar, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Whisk in ½ cup of the heavy cream and ½ cup of the whole milk. Place the pan over medium heat and, stirring constantly, bring it to a simmer.
Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Add the remaining heavy cream, milk, the salt, lemon extract, and vanilla extract. Mix well, cover, and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Just before you finish churning, add in the poppy seeds.
Transfer the churned ice cream to an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours. Let sit at room temperature for a few minutes before scooping and serving.