Monday, February 29, 2016

Easy 3-Ingredient Lemon Ice Cream

Slightly sweet lemon ice cream is tart, tangy and bursting with fresh lemon flavor. No bowl, stirring or churning is required; just a blender, 3-ingredients and 5 minutes is all you need to make rich, creamy, homemade ice cream. 

We've had 70 degree days here in KC. In February. Yes, you read that correctly. That kind of weather has everyone dreaming of the warm, spring days to come. As much as I hate the heat, I truly love seeing everyone outside enjoying the literal breath of fresh air that has settled over our area. I wish it would stick around longer.

So what's a girl to do when the sun is shining on such a rare occasion? NOT stay in the kitchen, that's what! Which is why I wanted a lemon ice cream recipe that was fast, easy and didn't require a gazillion ingredients. Thankfully I found this easy, 3-ingredient, no-churn, lemon ice cream recipe on Kirbie's Cravings.

You see, I had made a promise to a very special teenager that I would deliver the best lemon goodies for her belated birthday celebration. I often have a habit of over-promising when it comes to my cooking/baking. It's not that I don't want to or enjoy the cooking process, but it takes time. And time is precious. There's never enough of it, and I seem to think I want to spend my every Saturday cooped up in the kitchen SLAVING away.

Well, no slaving will be done with this recipe. You have my word. This is literally the easiest ice cream recipe I have made, and I've made quite a few. I typically prefer my ice cream bases to be made with lotsa heavy cream (the full of fat kind!) and eggs. This requires me to cook the base before using my ice cream maker to complete the churning. But on this particular beautiful Saturday....ain't nobody got time for that!

I was skeptical. I mean, how is ice cream creamy without heavy cream? Thanks to sour cream the ice cream still has a rich texture and flavor, bonus it also has this unique tang that was super satisfying.

But wait, how is ice cream sweet without any sugar? Sweetened condensed milk, that's how. Boom! This stuff is the best. And yes, it's totally acceptable to drink it from the can. Friends don't judge.

Ok, now let's talk about the lemons. You absolutely have to use fresh lemons. Please, please don't try to substitute these with anything else. I promise the have the best flavor and will make this ice cream pucker worthy.

Let's all agree that lemon desserts should have a level of pucker to them. Ok? Ok. Good. You'll never find me making a lemon treat that isn't tart. I taste it repeatedly to make sure I've achieved the right level of lemon-y-ness.

So, here you have it. Easy 3-ingredient Lemon Ice Cream. No-churning, no mixing, no cooking, one blender, 5 minutes. That's it. You have no excuse not to make this. Enjoy!

Easy 3-Ingredient Lemon Ice Cream

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Prep time: 5 minutes
Chill time: 10-18 hours
Yield: 10 small servings

2 (14 oz.) cans sweet condensed milk
3 cups sour cream*
2 medium-large lemons

Step 1: Pour sweet condensed milk & sour cream into the base of a large blender.  Zest both lemons, add zest to blender. Peel away as much of the lemon rind as you can without losing too much juice or flesh from the lemon. Discard rind and add lemons to blender.

Step 2: Blend all ingredients on high for at least 1 minute. Check smoothness of ice cream and blend for additional 30 seconds until desired texture is reached. I blended mine for about 2 minutes to ensure that no chunks of lemon remained.

Step 3: Pour the ice cream mixture into a freezable container*, cover & chill for at least 10 hours or overnight. Less chill time results in a texture more like soft-serve.

After longer freeze times the texture of this ice cream is very hard. If you prefer a little softness remove from freezer 5-10 minutes before serving.

For maximum freshness store in freezer in freezer in an airtight container for 2 weeks. If container does not have a lid and is covered with plastic wrap, etc. I recommend eating within 1 week. Obviously ice cream can last a long time in the freezer, but crystals and hard spots will start to form, and those just aren’t enjoyable to eat. Your ice cream will also start to taste like the freezer, especially if not covered with an airtight lid.

*I recommend full-fat sour cream, but you can use light if you would like. Using light will affect the texture and creaminess of your ice cream.

*I used a long & narrow Rubbermaid brand plastic container that was about 8.5 cups. You can also use a loaf pan, just make sure to cover with plastic wrap or Press ‘N’ Seal.

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