Saturday, December 12, 2009

Meyer lemon ice cream

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There was a mad dash last week to harvest the Meyer lemons, Key limes and basil from the yard in anticipation of a hard freeze.  Both procrastinators to the max why do it now when you can do it mañana?, Husbie and I waited until the temperatures plummeted to grab the shears and head outside.  He was smart enough to don gardening gloves, but I grabbed my more appropriate fur coat (my friends would expect nothing less from me!) and clipped and clipped until I could no longer feel my fingers.   Frostbite aside… LOOK AT MY BEAUTIFUL MEYER LEMON BOUNTY!

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Also known as the Valley Lemon in citrus growing areas of southern Texas, the Meyer lemon is native to China.  It was introduced to the US in the early 20th Century.  Each tree is potentially a prolific producer, and can con many into believing that it is fake – the lemons are like perfect golden orbs that lighten up the winter landscape alas, mine is now stripped naked… 

The Meyer lemon is a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange and produces fruit that is larger, sweeter and less acidic than the true lemon.  It is edible in its entirety because its skin is thin and devoid of a thick and bitter pith.  It is high in dietary fiber and vitamin C.  Popular with chefs because of its mild acidity and fragrant skin, it was first popularized by Chez Panisse Restaurant’s Alice Waters in Berkeley, California..

I’m going to have so much fun cooking with them!   I am planning on making Meyer lemon marmalade, this Torta della Nonna, limoncello, lemon tarts, lemon cookies, lemon infused olive oil and lemon-basil pesto and still not be sick of them!  But first up is this custard-based lemon ice cream that is fresh, cool and creamy.

Meyer Lemon Ice Cream
from Ultimate Ice Cream in Asheville, North Carolina, found on Tartelette’s fabulous

finely grated zest of 3 Meyer lemons  
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice, freshly squeezed and strained
3/4 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
pinch of salt
1 cup milk
2 cups heavy cream

Combine the lemon zest, juice, and sugar in a non-reactive bowl and refrigerate for a couple of hours, stirring occasionally so that the acid in the lemon juice dissolves the sugar. 

Heat the milk in a large saucepan until just barely boiling and remove from heat.  In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and whisk the warm milk into the yolks.  Pour the egg yolks and milk back into the saucepan.  Over medium low heat, stir constantly until it starts to thicken and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat immediately as the eggs may curdle.  Strain the custard through a sieve and refrigerate for a couple of hours until completely chilled.

Mix the egg custard, heavy cream, and the lemon slurry together.  Check the taste of the lemon cream – you can add up to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice now if you prefer it to be more tart.  Follow your ice cream maker’s instructions and enjoy!

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  1. Iako je hladno kod nas bas bi mi prijao ovaj deserić.Ja volim taj bitter ukus i sve sto je limunkasto.Prva fotkica je taako dobra!pozz

  2. What beautiful photographs of your ice cream and lemons! Stunning! I bet they tasted as great as they look.

    For anyone who doesn't have an ice cream maker, it's a worthy investment. Homemade ice cream is one of life's great pleasures! See The Ice Cream Maker for reviews and help choosing the right machine for you. Then you can make Dragana's delicious recipe anytime you please.

  3. Great recipe and perfect ice cream photography! How did you scoop so perfectly? Lovely post!

  4. This is the perfect dessert after a rich holiday meal. I saw Meyer lemons in the market a few days ago. Now that I have this lovely recipe I'll go back to get some. Thanks, Dragana, Happy Holiday!

  5. ehmm yummy, it look very delicious. i love it


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