During a particularly hot and humid week earlier this summer so I decided to experiment with a lemon pie ice cream. Initially it was going to be lemon meringue pie ice cream, but I decided it was just too hot to have the oven on long enough to bake meringue cookies, so I scrapped the meringue and decided to just do a graham cracker crust which requires a much shorter baking time. I was so happy with how this ice cream turned out, the lemon flavor is very refreshing on a hot summer day and I love the crunch from the graham cracker crust crumble.
The lemon flavor comes from two sources, the first is some lemon zest that is combined in a food processor with sugar. The food processor breaks down the zest to ensure that the sugar is fully immersed in bright lemony flavor. I also made a batch of my favorite lemon curd and swirled that with the ice cream after it churned. Lemon curd doesn’t freeze solid so it’s just the right consistency for ice cream. When I’m adding a swirl to ice cream I like to use a pastry bag fit with a petal tip. A plastic bag with the corner cut out, or a spoon will also work. Doesn’t really matter how you do it, just make sure you get some yummy lemon curd in your ice cream!
Lemon Pie Ice Cream
- 3/4 cup sugar
- zest from 2 lemons
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream, separated
- pinch salt
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tbl. sugar
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 3/4 cup lemon curd, homemade or store-bought
- Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a food processor and pulse until well combined.
- Combine the sugar-lemon zest mixture, milk, 1 cup of cream and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Place the egg yolks in a separate bowl. When the milk mixture is warm, pour it slowly into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 170 degrees.
- Pour the hot egg and cream mixture through a mesh strainer into a large bowl. Add the remaining cup of cream and vanilla. Refrigerate for several hours, or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Pour the melted butter over the mixture and stir until combined. Press into the bottom of a 9 x 9 pan or a pie pan and bake for 5-8 minutes until golden brown around the edges. Set aside to cool completely then gently break into chunks.
- When the ice cream mixture is chilled, freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After churning, scoop a thin layer of ice cream into a glass or plastic container. Drizzle some lemon curd over the ice cream and sprinkle some chunks of graham cracker crust. Top with another thin layer of ice cream and continue layering the lemon curd, graham cracker crust and ice cream until all the ice cream has been used. Cover the container with a lid and freeze until firm. Enjoy!