Lemon Curd Ice Cream

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For the last couple weeks in Boston, we’ve been having unseasonably cool weather.  This is how I know that I’ve become a more-or-less “real” Bostonian: I am not happy about this.  Yes, it makes my bicycle commute a bit more pleasant, and yes, it makes it slightly easier to sleep comfortably in a non-air conditioned bedroom.  But these days, the first hints of fall in the air remind me less of leaf peeping, pumpkin pie, and Sam Octoberfest, and more of 4:30pm sunsets and the retirement of my sundresses and sandals.

But hey, it’s still August.  I’m sure we have a couple more heatwaves in the works before we have to break out our wool socks and snow boots.  And that means we have time for more ice cream!

This recipe has been sitting quietly on my Pinterest board for at least a year, just awaiting the day when an ice cream maker would wander its way into my life.  I’ve come to terms with the fact that I will probably never get around to making all the foodstuffs I’ve pinned to my board (or any of the DIY home improvements I’ve pinned, for that matter), but now, with the necessary equipment in my possession,  I’m going back for all the ice cream recipes– starting with this one.

By this point, you probably know how I feel about lemon curd.  If you’re making this recipe at home, I highly recommend that you make your own (I have two recipes to choose from!), just because it’s fun and rewarding.  However, for this batch of ice cream, I decided to use pre-packaged lemon curd– mainly because I had three different jars of different brands in my fridge at that time.  I used a full jar of Wilkin & Sons— a jar I was able to take home from work for free because the lid was dented.  (It didn’t even matter how much I already had in the fridge at that point– I always say yes to free lemon curd.)

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Another key element in this recipe is the egg base.  You’ll use five egg yolks in the batter, which will make the ice cream rich and custardy.

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Because there are so many steps in this process– making and cooling the lemon curd, cooking the base, tempering the eggs, chilling the batter, etc.– it will take you a whole day to make the ice cream.  But I can promise you that it’s well worth the time.  While the ice cream has a strong lemony tang, it also tastes rich and buttery, much like a good lemon curd should.  Its texture is velvety smooth, rich, and creamy– pure heaven by the spoonful.  And, it should be mentioned, it pairs especially well with peach and blackberry cobbler.

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Here’s hoping we have several more balmy, laid back days yet to come– and here’s hoping you enjoy them with ample amounts of frozen treats!

Lemon Curd Ice Cream
adapted from Relishing It

2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
dash of kosher salt
1 tablespoon (packed) lemon zest
5 egg yolks
1 cup lemon curd (see post for recipes, or use store bought)

In a large saucepan, heat 1 cup of cream, milk, sugar, salt, and lemon zest together.  Bring to a simmer just until tiny bubbles appear.  Remove from heat and let infuse for 1 hour.

After the hour, bring mixture back to a small simmer.  Have the egg yolks in a large bowl and slowly ladle half of the milk and cream mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly.  Pour the egg mixture into the the remaining milk and cream mixture in the saucepan.  Cook until the temperature reaches 175°F, being careful not to let it boil.  Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, place the remaining cup of cream in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, and place the sealed Ziploc bag in a bowl of ice water.  Enlist someone to help you hold the Ziploc bag open, if possible; hold a mesh strainer just inside the bag, and pour the milk and cream mixture into the strainer to combine with the remaining cup of cream.  Reseal the bag, and let it sit in the ice water until the temperature reduces to 70°F, refilling the bowl with ice as necessary.  Once the mixture is cold, mix in the lemon curd.  Chill in the refrigerator for about three hours.

Once the ice cream batter is thoroughly chilled, churn according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

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