This has been a favorite family recipe since we found it in a magazine I inherited from my Grandmother about 20 years ago. It’s a very simple recipe – squeeze fresh lemons and oranges, mix in enough sugar to keep it from being ridiculously tart, then add milk and cream (or just half & half) and freeze it.
It’s light, fresh, creamy, and tart all at once, basically the perfect summer dish for a hot day. The only problem I can think of is it melts quickly. And you might want to get some help for the squeezing part if you’re doing a full batch.
You could try something with concentrates or bottled juices, but I can’t really see the point – it’s always worth it to try to get the juiciest, most flavorful oranges and lemons you can find because that’s pretty much all there is to the recipe.
Lemon-Orange Ice Cream
Note: This full recipe will yield close to 3 quarts, great for sharing but hard to fit into a smaller freezer.
- Juice of 6 lemons (approx. 1.5-2 cups)
- Juice of 7 oranges (approx 3-4 cups)
- 3 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 pints (1/2 quart) half & half
- 2 cups milk
Squeeze the juice from the fruit, straining out any seeds and the pulp. Mix the sugar in and stir until dissolved – this will keep the acidic juices from curdling the milk.
Mix in the half & half and milk, pour into an ice cream freezer. It will be soft-frozen, so plan to make it ahead so it can firm up in the freezer. This is also known as “ripening” since it lets the flavors meld as well.
If you don’t have an ice cream freezer, pour it into a large metal pan and stir with a fork every few hours until it’s evenly frozen. If you let if freeze solid, you can scrape crystals loose with a fork but it will take more effort than stirring it as it freezes. .
Want a smaller batch?
These proportions will make closer to 1 quart of ice cream
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
- 1 cup fresh orange juice (2-3 oranges)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 pint half & half
Follow the same instructions above.