Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lemon-Buttermilk Ice Cream

When most people "clean out" their fridge, the result usually resembles a pasta toss, casserole, soup, maybe an omelet. I truly hate letting food go to waste, and can attest to making all of the above with leftovers in the past. I recently found myself faced with several egg yolks after making pink lemonade cupcakes using just the whites. Ice cream seemed like the best idea to utilize them, especially with this incredible heat wave approaching in the Northeast.

Leftover heavy cream and buttermilk were the perfect components to turn these yolks into a rich custard-based ice cream. To brighten up this buttermilk base, I added some lemon zest and juice to yield a tart and tangy concoction that was even better in reality than in my imagination. This ice cream is truly a refreshing burst of citrus with a tangy finish. It's simple to make and a bit lighter than some other custard-based ice creams because of the buttermilk, which is naturally low fat.

Lemon-Buttermilk Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart

4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon

In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar and set aside.

Over medium-high heat, bring the heavy cream to a simmer in a saucepan. Gently whisk some of it into the egg yolk mixture (to temper it) and then return the cream/egg yolk mixture to the saucepan and continue to whisk constantly over medium heat until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, being careful not to scramble the eggs.

Strain the thickened custard through a fine mesh sieve (to remove any impurities or bits of egg). Whisk in the buttermilk, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Cool the mixture completely in the refrigerator before making the ice cream.

Freeze the custard according to your ice cream maker's instructions and then continue to freeze it in an airtight container in the freezer until the ice cream is firm. To ease scooping, allow ice cream to briefly soften at room temperature before serving.


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