Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lemon Cream Pie Ice Cream

I'd never seen a citrus tree until a trip to Phoenix, Arizona a couple years ago for a wedding.  The citrus and palm trees lining the streets were so beautiful, and it was amazing to see spring come so early there.  Flowers were already in full bloom in early April, and my allergies went into overdrive that weekend.

I wish I had taken some photos of the citrus trees that weekend, but sadly I didn't, so I'm sharing a few photos of the Ruins of Tuzigoot and Montezuma's Castle that we visited.  Both were built by the Sinagua people near Verde Valley around 700 AD.

Montezuma Castle
Demonstrating corn grinding at the Ruins of Tuzigoot

Ruins of Tuzigoot

Citrus continues to inspire me this month, even while it's snowing outside today, and after tasting that very rich Lime and Mascarpone Ice Cream, I thought I could create a lemony ice cream that was much lighter, using low-fat cream cheese, non-fat Greek yogurt, and 2% milk.  To make it even more amazing, I swirled in a little homemade lemon curd to give it more delicious lemony-ness.  Yes, I've decided lemony-ness is a word.

And as if the swirls of lemon curd weren't enough, I saw a little disk of pie crust dough sitting wrapped in my freezer - what about a lemon ice cream with bits of flaky pie crust throughout?  A Lemon Cream Pie Ice Cream...   The thought of all this lemon should be waking up your taste buds right about now.  If you're not salivating, then there might be something wrong with you!

Now, of course, the lemon curd and the bits of pie crust contribute extra fat and calories, which strays a bit from my original goal of creating a lighter ice cream recipe, but this recipe can totally be tailored to your own tastes and preferences with as little or as much of the lemon curd and pie crust pieces as you like.  And just the lemon ice cream on its own is amazing.

And totally cute served in a little frozen lemon "bowl".

Lemon Cream Pie Ice Cream
printable recipe

  • 8 ounces low-fat cream cheese (cold)
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • zest of 2 small lemons
  • juice of 3-4 small lemons (about 1/2 cup, give or take, according to how tart you want the ice cream)
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup 1% or 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon curd
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped pie crust (1/4 of a standard pie crust, baked until golden and cooled)

In the mixing bowl of your stand mixer, combine the cream cheese, yogurt, lemon zest and juice, and powdered sugar.  Beat with the whisk attachment for several minutes until smooth.  Add the milk, and beat for another minute to combine.  Taste and add more sugar or lemon if desired.

Freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions (about 10-15 minutes of churning in a pre-frozen Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Maker attachment).  Scoop ice cream into a bowl.  Working quickly, drizzle the lemon curd over the ice cream and sprinkle with the chopped pie crust pieces.  Fold into the ice cream so that you can see visible streaks of lemon curd throughout.  Transfer to a container, cover and freeze until firm, 4-6 hours.

Yields 1 quart.

Variation:  Instead of lemon curd and pie crust, swirl a little raspberry or blueberry sauce or jam throughout.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen.