I once tasted a delicious ice cream mysteriously called Lotus Cream at an ice cream shop in San Francisco that is now long gone. It was so good that I kept thinking about its ethereal flavor of lemon and almonds and how light and delicious it tasted. I tried to replicate it at home and my memory was jogged when I recently ran across my old faded notes. Just reading them over once again convinced me I had to make this ice cream to see if it still held its charm.
This recipe takes just a few minutes to put together. The flavor is subtle but distinctive and unmistakably fresh. It’s been years since I’ve made it but I was gratified to find that it tastes every bit as delicious as I remember it. It’s light yet creamy with a brightly tart sensation that finishes with a back note of almond. It has that unmistakable pucker of fresh citrus that lemon fans will enjoy. Simple, refreshing and very, very much in keeping with the fanciful days of summer.
- Be sure to use a good quality almond extract. Start with a scant 1/2 teaspoon and taste. Add a drop at a time and taste until you get the right flavor for you.
- Always add the salt last and then taste. Then keep adding a few grains at a time and keep tasting. You’ll know when you have the right amount because the flavor will heighten noticeably.
Lemon Almond Ice Cream
Makes about 1 1/2 pints
1 C whole milk
1 C heavy cream
1/2 C + 2 T sugar
1/2 C fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
2 1/2 t lemon zest (I used 2 lemons)
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t good quality almond extract, to taste
good pinch of salt, to taste
1/3 C toasted sliced almonds
Whisk together all the ingredients except the almonds. Refrigerate the mixture overnight to marry the flavors and to chill thoroughly.
Toast the sliced almonds in a single layer in a 350 degree oven for about 6 to 8 minutes. Watch them closely as they will burn quickly.
Churn the ice cream base in your ice cream machine. Fold in the toasted almonds. Pour into a clean airtight container, press a piece of plastic wrap into the surface, cover and place in your freezer to firm up.