Tangy lemon curd is swirled through smooth no-churn ice cream. The result is a homemade lemon curd ice cream that is simple to make, citrusy, and absolutely delicious! The perfect summer treat for entertaining and sharing with family and friends!
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Easy lemon ice cream recipe
As we’re inching closer to summer, frozen treats are at the forefront of my mind. And this homemade lemon curd ice cream is fast becoming a new favorite. And rightly so!
The ice cream base is a delicious vanilla no-churn ice cream that is super easy to whip up, and no ice cream machine is needed to create it.
The ice cream is then swirled with ripples of bright lemon curd, which creates the most amazing lemon tanginess and creamy sweetness. It’s truly irresistible!
I’d love to say it’s the kids who gobble it up, but in fact, my hubby and I are the ones who can’t get enough! It never takes us long to finish off a batch.
Don’t take my word for it – Let’s dive into the recipe so you can enjoy a big scoop of lemon ice cream, too!
Reasons to love lemon curd ice cream
- Delicious combination of flavors: You get sweet, smooth, and milky taste from the ice cream contrasting with bright, citrusy lemon curd. A heavenly pairing!
- Basic ingredients: This no-churn lemon curd ice cream uses minimal ingredients, which are all pantry staples probably already waiting in your kitchen.
- Easy to make: With an electric mixer and 2 mixing bowls, you too can perfect this lemony delight. No ice cream machine required!
It only takes 5 simple ingredients to make this mouthwatering lemon curd ice cream. Quantities for each of these ingredients are listed in the recipe card below.
- Lemon curd: The wonderful thing about frozen lemon curd is that it doesn’t freeze hard but stays somewhat soft and spoon-able. I used my homemade lemon curd, but if you don’t have the inclination, use your favorite store-bought brand.
- Heavy cream (aka whipping/double cream) is whipped until fluffy and forms the base of this lemon ice cream. Make sure the cream is cold; otherwise, it won’t mix up properly.
- Sweetened condensed milk is the second component of the ice cream base. The syrupy milk acts as a sweetener and keeps the texture soft, allowing for easy scooping. I recommend full fat for the creamiest results.
- Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice helps to thicken the condensed milk and infuses the ice cream base with a refreshing lemon flavor.
- Vanilla extract lends the ice cream a subtle vanilla note. The alcohol in vanilla extract also helps to keep the no-churn ice cream soft and fluffy.
How to make lemon curd ice cream
Even though this treat tastes luxurious, it’s remarkably easy to make! Yet another reason why I’m such a big fan of this homemade lemon ice cream recipe, and you will love it too! Keep reading on for the instructions.
Step 1: Mix condensed milk and lemon juice
- Pour the condensed milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract into a medium mixing bowl. Whisk together until perfectly combined. The lemon juice will thicken the condensed milk as you stir.
Step 2: Whip heavy cream
- Add the heavy cream into a large mixing bowl and whip until stiff peaks form.
- You can use a hand-held mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment for this step.
Step 3: Combine mixtures
- Gently fold the condensed milk mixture through the whipped cream.
- Be careful not to knock out the air from the whipped cream. And just like that, the ice cream base is ready!
Step 4: Layer ice cream
- Layer 1/3 of the ice cream base into a freezer-safe container (I used a baking pan).
- Spoon 1/3 of the lemon curd on top. Swirl together.
- Repeat this process until all the ice cream is layered into the container.
- Finish the layering off with lemon curd and swirl it into a decorative pattern.
Tip: Alternately, mix together the ice cream base and lemon curd and pour it directly into the freezer container. However, I prefer layering the components because it looks more like store-bought ice cream, and the ripples of lemon curd running through are magic!
Step 5: Freeze
- Cover the container with a piece of foil or plastic wrap. Freeze the lemon curd ice cream for at least 4 to 6 hours.
Step 6: Serve
- To serve, remove the ice cream from the freezer 10 minutes before serving.
- Dip your ice cream scoop into a cup of hot water, and then scoop the ice cream.
- Heating the scoop will help to scoop out ice cream balls.
Tips for success
Don’t forget to go over my handy tips and tricks before you hit the kitchen and whip up a batch. Your family will be blown away at how good lemon curd ice cream recipe is!
- Use heavy whipping cream: Cream with a fat content of 35% to 38% is the best choice for no-churn ice cream. It will double in volume and maintain stiff peaks. You may know this type of cream as heavy cream, double cream, or heavy whipping cream. You can find the fat percentage listed on the carton.
- Don’t overwhip the cream: Mix the cream until you reach stiff peaks, which means the cream will hold its shape and stand straight. Take care not to overwhip at this point, or the cream will curdle.
- Add vanilla extract: Vanilla extract lowers the freezing point and prevents the ice cream from freezing too hard.
- Soften your ice cream prior to serving: If the ice cream is hard to scoop when you remove it first from the freezer, leave it out on the counter for 15 minutes to make it more scoopable.
The beauty of this lemon-flavored ice cream is that you can make it your own! Switch up the curd or add mix-ins. Here are some ideas for you to try.
- Other curds: I like to consider this a method, so this ice cream recipe will work with just any citrus or fruit curd you’d like. Lime, grapefruit, passion fruit, raspberry, etc.
- Shortbread: To turn this into lemon pie ice cream, add pieces of shortbread into the ice cream and sprinkle some on top as decoration.
- Meringue cookies: Feel free to fold crushed meringue cookies into the lemon ice cream to add sweet bits of soft, crunchy texture.
- White chocolate: It’s no secret that white chocolate and lemon go together incredibly well. Try adding some chopped-up white chocolate or white chocolate chips to the ice cream.
- Berries: Lemon curd pairs beautifully with all sorts of summer berries. For beautiful two-toned swirls, add a few spoonsful raspberry, blueberry, or strawberry sauce when layering the ice cream.
How to store lemon curd ice cream
Store your lemon ice cream in a freezer-friendly container. Press a piece of plastic wrap (cling film) against the surface of the ice cream to prevent ice crystals from forming. The back of the freezer is the best place to store ice cream because it stays consistently cold.
How long does lemon curd ice cream last?
This lemon curd no-churn ice cream will last 2 to 3 months in the freezer. Keep the freezer container tightly covered to ward off freezer burn.