Frozen Lemon Custard


frozen lemon custard-12 squareMaking homemade ice cream is a funny thing. For something that has to be eaten quickly, it almost always requires some intermediate-ish kitchen skills and lots of patience (cooking…cooling…freezing…hardening…) It’s almost never cheaper to make ice cream rather than buy it. If you like things like hardened peanut butter swirls or marshmallow ribbons, those things are difficult to achieve at home.


It is so. Dang. Good. And fun to make. And satisfying, in the same way that making yeast breads is satisfying. Once you get the hang of it, the possibilities are pretty much endless.

I love lemon everything–lemon candles, lemon cleaning products, savory lemon dishes, lemon-y desserts, lemon lotion. And now that we’re in the thickest, hottest, longest part of the summer here in Louisiana (and really, this summer hasn’t been nearly as terrible as past summers; I wore a sweatshirt the other night, which leads me to believe that it’s likely the apocalypse is upon us.) So during the hottest, stickiest weeks of the summer, I’m shunning chocolate, real food, and denim and am 100% behind all things citrus, which includes lemon. Lemon ice cream. Well, really, this is frozen custard (which is funny because you’d think that would make it heavy and thick, but it’s just light and smooth and luxurious.) Guys…right now, it’s my favorite.

For the custard, you’re going to need lemons, heavy whipping cream, half and half, sugar, and a pinch of salt.

frozen lemon custard ingredients

In a large saucepan, combine the heavy cream,

frozen lemon custard heavy cream

half and half, salt, sugar,

frozen lemon custard sugar

and lemon zest.

frozen lemon custard grated lemon zest

Over medium-low heat, stirring very frequently, heat the mixture until bubbles form around the edges. Remove from heat.

While the mixture is heating, whisk 5 egg yolks together.

frozen lemon custard egg yolks

After you’ve removed the cream mixture from heat, remove 1 cup of the hot cream mixture from the pan. Very slowly, just a few tablespoons at a time, and whisking constantly, pour the hot cream mixture into the eggs. If you add the cream mixture too quickly the eggs will scramble, so go slow and be patient.

After you’ve added all the hot cream mixture, return the pan with the cream mixture to medium-low heat and slowly whisk in the egg mixture. Heat, stirring constantly, until thickened–it’s ready when you dip the back of a spoon into the mixture and, when you drag your finger through it, it leaves a trail.

frozen lemon custard finger trail on spoon

Remove from heat and chill in the refrigerator (for several hours or overnight).

When the mixture is chilled, add 3/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice

frozen lemon custard lemon juice

and stir to combine. (Do you like the toddler photo bomb in the background? I’m rolling with it here.) Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions (in a 4-5 quart machine).

While the ice cream is churning, take a package of shortbread cookies

frozen lemon custard shortbread cookies

and break them.

frozen lemon custard broken shortbread cookies

During the final few minutes of churning (or after you remove the ice cream from the machine),

frozen lemon custard

mix in the broken cookies.

frozen lemon custard adding cookies

Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least four hours before serving. Makes 10-12 servings.

frozen lemon custard from Our Best Bites





  1. I am also among your readers who do not own an ice cream maker because, as you point out it is always more expensive to make ice cream than to buy it in the store, and it is just another appliance to store, not to mention that it is just my husband and I at home and we don’t need (?) ice cream in large amounts hanging around the house. But if ever a recipe has tempted me to run right out and purchase an ice cream maker, it is this one. It looks so delicious! Now I will have to do some deep breathing to avoid temptation! Especially because I really want to try making your recipe for ice cream cones or bowls.

  2. Lemon Custard is in my top 3 favorite Aggie Ice Cream flavors! But I don’t live in Aggie Ice Cream territory anymore (so sad) so I’ll totally be making this recipe instead! Thanks!

  3. I am also a lemon obsessed individual. Have you tried Watkins Lemon Cream lotion? That stuff smells amazing! You MUST try it!

  4. What a funny coincidence. I had planned on making lemon ice cream/custard today to try out my new ice cream maker but I didn’t have a recipe. I was gonna search the internet, but got on your site first to check the new recipe for today and Wah-lah! Here it is. Your really know how to deliver! Thanks!

  5. Give up chocolate? I’m not that brave. 🙂
    I love all things lemon. I now know what to do with that whipping cream in my fridge! Plus, my kids love when I bust out my ice cream maker. Thanks!

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