All the flavour of Summer citrus, packed into a sweet, luscious, creamy ice-cream.
Think of it as the most grown-up lemon-lime splice you’re ever going to eat.
Base custard: based on David Lebovitz’s vanilla ice-cream.
The rest: improvised.
ALERT: You’ll need to make the ice-cream custard base the day before you want to have the ice-cream ready, and the bowl/canister of your ice-cream maker needs to be fully frozen (which can take up to 24 hours) before you can turn the custard into ice-cream. The best solution: just store the ice-cream canister in the freezer when you’re not using it.
For the ice-cream:
1 cup whole milk (skim won’t work; unhomogenised Jersey milk is… incredible)*
2 tsp citrus essence*
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup caster sugar
3 small kaffir lime leaves (optional)
2 cups (500 ml) whipping cream
2 tbsp limoncello*
1/2 cup chopped candied citrus peel
To make the custard base:
- If it isn’t already there, put your ice-cream machine bowl in the freezer!
- Separate the egg yolks. (Keep the whites for a meringue or something.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and citrus essence — stirring constantly — until it’s just about to boil. Turn off the heat.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the yolks and the sugar together, until well combined.
- One serving-spoonful at a time, add the hot milk mixture to the egg yolks, whisking as you go. I can’t emphasis this enough: Don’t be too hasty. If you add too much of the hot liquid all at once, you’ll end up with sweet scrambled eggs. Yuck.
- Once you’ve added all the milk to the yolks, pour the mixture back into the saucepan and over a medium to low heat, stir constantly until it thickens enough to coats the back of a spoon.
- Remove from the heat and set aside briefly.
- Chop the kaffir lime leaves very finely, and add them to the hot custard.
- Pour the custard into a large metal or glass mixing bowl, add the cream and limoncello, and stir til combined.
- Cover in cling wrap and store in a cold fridge for several hours (overnight is best).
To churn the ice-cream:
- Take the chilled custard out of the fridge and turn on the ice-cream machine.
- Slowly pour the custard to the ice-cream machine and churn until it’s at soft-serve consistency — depending on your machine and how cold it was (and how hot it is in your kitchen) this could take anything from 15–40 minutes. (I wish I could be more specific!)
- Once you’ve stopped the churn, work quickly!
First fold in the chopped citrus peel with a firm spatula until the pieces are more or less evenly distributed.
- Then using a large serving spoon, start transferring the ice-cream into one or two large, freezer-suitable containers.
- Quickly put the finished product in the freezer and let it set for a few hours.
- Serve alongside chilled Summer stone fruit, rich blackberry pie, or (and?) an extra-salty margarita.
*I have the luxury of homemade kaffir lime essence (from homegrown leaves)**, homemade limoncello (from homegrown limes)***, and access to unhomogenised Jersey milk and amazing organic/free-range eggs. But these are luxuries — and optional ones at that.
The point is you can use any citrus flavouring or essence, and any citrus-flavoured alcohol. Just don’t cut back on the egg yolks or use skim milk. If you use skim/low-fat ANYTHING in ice-cream, it will just turn out icy. And icy ice-cream is the saddest thing. Ice-cream needs sugar and/or fat and/or alcohol to keep it from freezing solid. This one has all three, so the texture is pretty amazing.
**You can easily make your own kaffir lime essence… if you have a few months to wait around. If you bought a bunch of leaves and only used a couple, just crush/bruise four or five leaves in your hand, then put them in a tiny jar and fill it to the brim with vodka. Store this away in a dark, cool place for a few months and SHAZAM! Kaffir lime essence.
***Totally DIY-able — I made a batch more than a year ago and it’s still amazing. Syrupy, zesty, and just the thing for finishing off a Summer dinner, macerating fruit or keeping ice-cream pliable. But that recipe is for another time (or you could google for tips).