Flavors of lemon cream pie frozen in a rich, creamy homemade lemon ice cream filled with zesty lemon curd and chunks of graham crackers. A lemon lover’s summer dream!
Lemon and ice cream lovers, you have come to the right place. This homemade Lemon Ice Cream is amazing and will put a bright smile on everyone that tries it.
This homemade lemon ice cream recipe tastes like a frozen lemon cream pie in ice cream form. If you want to try an actual Frozen Lemon Cream Pie, try this EASY lemon cream pie recipe frozen!
Homemade ice cream is a great treat to enjoy all year round but especially in the summer. This lemon ice cream recipe is easy, creamy and so delicious.
Grab a bowl or cone or plain old spoon for that matter and get ready to enjoy a freaking amazing lemon ice cream!
HOW DO I MAKE HOMEMADE ICE CREAM?
There are many different ways to make homemade ice cream and some are easier than others. Some methods produce a higher quality ice cream also.
Based on your need and equipment, pick the method that best suits you but for this recipe, I will be using an electric ice cream maker.
Methods of making homemade ice cream include:
- Ice Cream Maker — this is my preferred method as it is easy, fast and produces a high quality (low ice crystal and super creamy) ice cream. This method involves a hand-crank or electric machine that spins a canister packed in ice and salt. This electric ice cream maker is similar to the one I use (Nostalgia 4 Quart Ice Cream Maker).
- Bag Method — ice cream mixture is sealed in a bag then placed in a bigger bag with ice and salt. Shaken until firm. This method is fun with kids, low cost but also may take longer. The bag method may become messier but no special equipment is required.
- Jar Method — similar to the bag method, place ice cream recipe in a jar then seal. Place the sealed jar in a larger bag with ice and salt. Shake until ice cream is firm.
- Frozen Ice Cream Bowl — mixers such as KitchenAid have an ice cream maker bowl attachment. The bowl is frozen then put in place of the regular mixing bowl. As the mixer mixes the homemade ice cream mixture, it freezes. No ice or salt required. Note though that the capacity of these is much less (usually only 2 quarts or a half-gallon).
An electric ice cream maker makes it easier and faster to produce good, high-quality homemade ice cream with less effort on your part than the other methods. An electric ice cream maker can be purchased for $25 to $35 on Amazon or Walmart. You can check out the ice cream maker I have here.
For this creamy lemon ice cream recipe, I’d recommend making it in an ice cream maker due to the amount of ice cream this recipe makes. This method also helps the ice cream mixture freeze quicker which can have an impact on the creaminess of the ice cream. I’ll explain why below.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO AVOID ICE CRYSTALS WHEN MAKING OR FREEZING ICE CREAM?
Fewer ice crystals mean creamier ice cream. It’s as simple as that.
Who doesn’t like creamy ice cream, or should I say, who likes icy ice cream? The creamier the better in my opinion. 😉
HOW TO AVOID ICE CRYSTALS IN HOMEMADE ICE CREAM?
There are a few things you can do to lessen ice crystals in homemade. To make a more smooth, creamy homemade ice cream use:
- an electric ice cream maker
- a deep freezer
To help produce a smooth creamy texture, this Homemade Lemon Ice Cream recipe has eggs in it. Eggs proved color, flavor and lessen the formation of ice crystals (which are all very good things).
I know, you’re probably thinking “Yikes! Eggs in ice cream?” Yes! Check out the section on eggs below to learn more about raw eggs in homemade ice cream.
ELECTRIC ICE CREAM MAKER:
Using an electric ice cream maker proves a smooth creamy texture to this lemon ice cream by speeding up the freezing process during churning.
The last step you can take to ensure the best, most creamy homemade lemon ice cream — use a deep freezer during the last freezing step.
If you have access to a deep freezer use it. If not, your regular freezer is fine but the faster you can freeze your homemade ice cream the fewer ice crystals it will form. A deep freezer typically maintains a colder temperature than a regular refrigerator freezer. A deep freezer can freeze your ice cream much quicker.
Homemade ice cream can form more or larger ice crystals if these steps aren’t taken.
PRO TIP REMINDER:
To make creamier homemade ice cream use:
- an electric ice cream maker to churn and begin the freezing process,
- a deep freezer to finish the freezing process and lessen the time for ice crystals to form (freezes the ice cream faster).
USING RAW EGGS IN HOMEMADE ICE CREAM RECIPE?
Did you know eggs are used in ice cream, even store-bought ice cream?
The higher quality homemade ice cream recipes, including this Lemon Ice Cream recipe, calls for raw eggs. There’s a good reason why.
I know what you’re thinking… raw eggs though. We add eggs to homemade ice cream recipes because eggs offer color, flavor AND help ice crystals from forming (giving the ice cream a smoother more creamy texture and better flavor).
All of those things are good qualities to have in any homemade ice cream.
You can still have good ice cream without eggs but it’s more likely to contain a higher amount of ice crystals and be less scoopable. If you want to make the highest quality of homemade ice cream… add the eggs but before you do, read the rest of this section. You want to make sure you follow safe food practices!
SAFE FOOD HANDLING:
As far as safe food practices go there are a couple of things you should know about using eggs in ice cream.
I suppose you could go with straight-up, regular eggs from the store but you run the risk of salmonella or other food-borne Bactria contaminating your homemade ice cream. Not what we’re going for here.
It’s recommended, when making homemade ice cream, to use a custard method or pasteurized eggs to ensure all bacteria are killed before freezing.
PASTEURIZED EGGS VS CUSTARD METHOD
PASTEURIZED EGGS METHOD:
I find the easiest method for this homemade lemon ice cream is to find pasteurized eggs.
These eggs have been treated with low heat to kill any bacteria and are safe to use in homemade ice cream without cooking or heating. They are a little more expensive than regular eggs but are a time-saving convenience when making this recipe.
If you don’t want to splurge or can’t find pasteurized eggs in your local grocery store (they can be hard to find), you can still make this recipe using the custard method (heat the milk and eggs to 160°F, cool then add the rest of the ingredients and freeze).
This method takes longer but will still give you a delicious high-quality ice cream filled with lemon curd and graham cracker chunks.
I’ll leave a note on the recipe card if you choose to use the custard method when you make this homemade lemon ice cream recipe.
PRO TIP: For time-saving convenience, use pasteurized raw eggs to make homemade ice cream recipes. It saves you time in by not having to heat and cool the ice cream mixture before freezing.
HOW MUCH DOES THIS LEMON ICE CREAM COST — PRICE CHECK:
Making homemade ice cream at home is fun and can be inexpensive.
Make this premium homemade Lemon Ice Cream for cheaper than you can buy it in the store… if you could find a similar flavor at the store. ?
This is my cost breakdown showing how much this homemade lemon ice cream cost to make.
Prices for supplies may vary depending on location and store you purchase groceries from. I try to shop bulk food stores, use coupons, watch ads and shop sales (like case lot), buy supplies in bulk to save money in the long run and use homegrown produce and herbs when available. These are a great way to stay within my grocery budget without sacrificing flavor or nutrition.
MY INGREDIENTS LIST AND COSTS:
- Heavy whipping cream (Winco in Utah sells a quart for this price) – $3.38
- Whole milk – $0.26
- Eggs – $0.48
- Sugar – $0.30
- Lemon curd/filling (I bought a can but you can use homemade if you’d like) – $1.99
- Fresh lemon – $0.33
- Graham crackers – $0.50
- Salt – $0.01
This ice cream recipe makes about a gallon of homemade ice cream. The total cost for me to make this premium zesty Lemon Ice Cream at home was about $7.25.
That’s about 64 ounces of premium ice cream made at home for $7.25. Compare that to the ice cream you can buy in the store.
I couldn’t even find an ice cream flavor like this but if I could I’m guessing it would have been in a small quart size container that cost about $3.99.
Seriously! That would be almost $16 for the same amount you will make at home!
MORE FUN ICE CREAM FLAVORS:
- Mint Oreo Homemade Ice Cream – Mint ice cream with loads of Oreo chunks.
- No-Churn Rocky Road Ice Cream – easy, chocolatey and filled with almonds and marshmallows.
- Healthy Banana Ice Cream – healthy, creamy and only 1 ingredient!
- Classic Oreo Ice Cream – classic cookies n’ cream made at home.
- Homemade Nutter Butter Ice Cream – for peanut butter and Nutter Butter lovers!
- Gluten-Free Ice Cream Tacos – Homemade shells filled with ice cream and dipped in chocolate… SO GOOD!
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 eggs or 8 yolks, beaten
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 15 oz can lemon curd/filling
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- 1 sleeve graham crackers, about 9 sheets, crushed
- In a saucepan, heat whole milk and eggs over medium heat until mixture reach 160°F. Make sure you whisk or stir the mixture continuously to avoid cooking the eggs or scorching the mixture. DO NOT LET THE MIXTURE BOIL. Remove from heat immediately once the mixture reaches 160°F.
- In a bowl, mix lemon juice, zest, and curd together until well blended.
- Add sugar to the egg mixture. Stir for 30 seconds to a minute to help sugar begin to dissolve.
- Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the crushed GRAHAM CRACKERS and LEMON CURD MIXTURE.
- Pour mixture into ice cream maker tub. Chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours before churning. Mixture needs to be cold before churning.
- Once chilled mix in lemon curd mixture. Follow manufacturer directions on how to properly use your electric ice cream maker. **See notes about ice and salt for ice cream maker.
- Ice cream will begin to thicken within 20-30 minutes.
- When done, the mixture should be to the top of a 4 qt ice cream maker tube. Fold in graham cracker chunks, pour into a freezer-safe container. Press a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the soft frozen ice cream then place container lid on top.
- Freeze (preferably in a deep freezer) for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.
**See notes if using pasteurized eggs to speed up prep time. If using regular unpasteurized eggs, use the Custard Method below (longer process).
MAKING THE ICE CREAM MIXTURE:
Using pasteurized whole eggs can speed up the homemade ice cream making process by several hours. You can find pasteurized eggs in some grocery stores or specialty health food stores. They are a little more expensive but will save you quite a bit of time. When using pasteurized whole eggs you can skip the custard (cooking) method and go straight to mixing the ingredients and churning the ice cream. No need to chill the mixture before churning because it will already be cold.
Make sure you follow your ice cream makers ice to salt ratio. The amount of salt needed can be up to 2-4 cups. If you don't use enough salt with the ice, it won't freeze the ice cream is the ice will not be cold enough. The salt lowers the temperature of the ice which will freeze the ice cream mixture faster.
This recipe can be halved. Prep and freezing time will be similar to a full batch.
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