This easy peasy lemon squeezy ice cream is refreshingly tart and zesty, but also smooth and creamy. With only three ingredients, it’s super fast to make. And as it’s a no-churn version, there’s no need for an ice cream maker.
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Is No-Churn Ice Cream Any Good?
If you’re worried that a no-churn ice cream won’t be as good as the “real” thing, please let me reassure you. I’ve made both versions and I can honestly say that I like them both equally. CT is a bit of an ice-cream connoisseur and he has no qualms about eating my no-churn ice cream.
Because you whip the cream before adding other ingredients, the mixture is less runny than an egg custard version. In fact it holds together quite well on its own, which means there’s less of an issue with it melting all over the place. The whipped cream also makes it really light as well as super creamy. Despite not churning the ice cream as it freezes, the finished product contains no ice crystals.
The real wonder of a no-churn ice cream though, is that it’s incredibly simple to make. No fuss, no faff. You don’t need to cook a custard and you don’t need to churn. Egg custard can be tricky to make and it takes time. This easy peasy lemon squeezy ice cream only takes ten minutes. It does, however, take a little longer to freeze. It needs to be kept in the freezer for at least six hours before you can tuck in.
Do You Have to Use Condensed Milk for No-Churn Ice Cream?
Condensed milk is cow’s milk where most of the water has been evaporated. Usually sugar is added too. It makes an excellent no-churn ice cream as it not only gives sweetness and extra body, but stability too. However, some people can’t abide the flavour. If you’re one of those and really don’t want to use it, you can make a classic egg custard instead. But it will need churning.
So the answer to the question is: I don’t know of another ingredient you can use instead of condensed milk for an easy no churn ice cream.
As most no-churn ice creams are made with cream and condensed milk, they don’t contain as much protein as those made with eggs. Eggs contain 13g of protein per 100g whereas condensed milk only contains 8g. But if you’re anything like me, you don’t eat ice-cream for its protein content.
Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Ice Cream
This lemon ice cream is without doubt the easiest ice cream I’ve ever made. It’s easy peasy lemon squeezy. In fact, it’s now become my favourite ice cream to make and eat. The sweet, yet tart and zesty flavours combined with the creamy texture make it a particularly delicious and refreshing summer treat. If you like homemade lemonade, you’ll love this.
All you need to do is to whip up some cream, stir in a little condensed milk, then add lemon zest and juice. Pop it in the freezer and job done.
You will have to wait at least six hours though before you can take it out of the freezer to sample it. It will keep for three months, but if you’e anything like us, it won’t last that long. When you’re ready to take a scoop or two, you’ll need to leave it at room temperature for at least twenty minutes to soften or you won’t be able to scoop anything.
I find most no-churn ice creams too sweet and as it’s a good idea to consume less sugar anyway, I use about half the amount of condensed milk I’ve seen in other recipes. Condensed milk is very sweet and usually has sugar added to it. But don’t worry, this easy lemon ice cream is still sweet and delicious. If you have a really sweet tooth, you could add another 100ml of condensed milk, but I urge you to try the quantities I’ve given first.
This easy lemon ice cream is lovely either served in a bowl or in a cone. It’s even more delicious with a drizzle of fresh raspberry sauce over the top.
The finer you can grate the lemon zest, the better the texture and flavour. I find a microplane* is just perfect for the job.
Top tip from Mary in the comments below. She’s reminded me that if you add a bit of alcohol to your ice cream, it won’t freeze quite so hard. This makes it much easier to scoop out that ice cream when you want it. It makes for a slightly better texture too. Limencello is the most appropriate addition that springs to mind. I have a bottle of the homemade stuff and will try and remember to use it next time I make this fabulous easy lemon ice cream.
Don’t go overboard with the alcohol though, or your ice cream won’t freeze at all. One to two tablespoonfuls is all you need.
Can You Whip Cream by Hand?
The short answer is yes, you can whip cream by hand. I frequently do. But only if I have a small amount. A wire whisk will do the job perfectly well on those occasions. For the amount of cream you need to make this easy lemon ice cream, however, you’d need a very strong arm as it takes a long time to whisk it into peaks. If you need a good work out, give it a try.
When I make no-churn ice cream, I always use an electric whisk*. Even with this, it can take five minutes to turn double cream into beautifully whipped cream. A stand mixer is also good for whipping larger volumes of cream. But do be careful not to over whip. It’s easy to walk away from a stand mixer and miss the moment when your cream turns from lovely soft peaks into butter.
Does Lemon Curdle Cream?
Well, weirdly, no it doesn’t. Lemon curdles milk, in fact you can make a great cheat’s form of sour milk by adding lemon to it. It’s great for baking. But it doesn’t curdle cream. What it does do is thicken it. If you’ve ever made lemon posset you’ll know this. It feels a bit like magic.
Other No Churn Ice Cream Recipes You Might Like
- Bailey’s marbled chocolate ice cream
- Blackcurrant & rose ripple ice cream
- Leftover Easter egg chocolate ice cream
- Peach Melba ice cream
- Plum, amaretti & white chocolate ripple ice cream
- Redcurrant ripple & white chocolate ice cream
- Rhubarb, rose & white chocolate ice cream
- Roasted strawberry & white chocolate ice cream
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you try this easy no-churn lemon ice cream, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
And for more frozen recipes, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious, of course.
Easy Lemon Ice Cream. PIN IT.
Easy 3 Ingredient No Churn Lemon Ice Cream – The Recipe
Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Ice Cream
- 2 organic lemons – 1 zested and 2 juiced
- 600 ml double cream
- 200 ml condensed milk – more if you prefer a sweeter ice cream
- 1 tbsp limoncello optional
- Whisk the cream with electric beaters until just starting to peak. You could do this with a hand whisk, but it's a lot of cream and it will take a long time.
- Add the condensed milk and lemon zest and gently whisk together with the beaters until just combined.
- Stir in the lemon juice. It will thicken considerably.
- Spoon into a 1 litre container and freeze for at least 6 hours. Remove from the freezer twenty minutes before serving.
- Add one to two tablespoons of alcohol to the ice cream before freezing. This will stop it freezing solid and make it easier to scoop out when you want it. But don’t add more than this or your ice cream may not freeze at all. Limoncello is the ideal one to add, but a neutral vodka is fine too.
- The lemon zest should be as fine as possible. A microplane* is the perfect tool for the job.
I’m sharing this recipe for easy lemon ice cream with Recipes Made Easy for #CookBlogShare.
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