Friday, July 23, 2010

Lemon Almond Ice Cream

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.

Bench notes:
- 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.


m @ random musings said...

Thanks for the bench notes! As a [very] amateur foodie, I'm always on the lookout for techniques that take good food to great.

Victoria said...

Whew! A recipe for those of us on the East Coast who are in desperate straits when it comes to stone fruits.

This looks luscious. I want a bite



(My mother never licked her ice creams cones; she took little bites of the ice cream, which was a good idea until she wanted to taste MY cone.)

Audrey said...

Everything you make is so appealing...but this one, especially!

pastry studio said...

Thanks for you sweet comments!

Victoria, thanks so much for reminding me that not everyone has access to lots of fruit. I get so obsessed this time each year that I have to stop myself from just posting fruit recipes. I was thinking a couple of days ago that I needed to switch things up so I went with this ice cream. But I peaches and figs are just coming in, so........yikes!

Lauren said...

I've never thought of the combo of lemon and almond...I wonder if it would work well in a cupcake?

I have an ice cream maker...definitely going to try this recipe!

Sara Tea said...

I JUST got an ice cream maker yesterday, and have been searching all over for recipes. These looks so fabulous. I love the lightness of lemon and a touch of almond? Perfection! Great post!

pastry studio said...

Lauren, I love the combo of lemon and almond in cakes and cookies. I have on my list to work on something in this vein.

Sara Tea - OK, it's all over now! Congrats on the ice cream maker. Your life will never be the same. I've found making ice cream a great source of fun and creativity. Enjoy it to the max.

Bryan said...

yum. what is that little almondy cookiebiscuitcake in the background?

pastry studio said...

Hi GooberNgrape! It's a little Almond Sable cookie, a very simple but good little butter cookie. I sort of goofed up because I used it as a garnish in this photo but I haven't posted the recipe yet. It's a good summer cookie so I'll do it soon!

Kate said...

I've been enamored with the recipes and photos every week. Love the bench notes too. I don't have an ice cream maker, but after reading this post I have to get one. Could you tell us what you use... and if you've ever had any experience with the KitchenAid ice cream attachment?

pastry studio said...

Hi Kate and thanks so much for your generous comments.

I use a very simple Cuisinart machine that I've had it for years:

It's very basic and simply requires that you freeze the bowl at least 24 hours in advance (mine is permanently stationed in the freezer). You can probably search around and find a better price for it. Department stores often have sales on these products.

I didn't really get very deep into ice cream until just a couple of years ago. I have to say that I never would have guessed that I would love making ice cream so much. It's just a perfect medium for so many flavors and textures and it's far superior to manufactured products. Check my recipe index for more possibilities and I have a lot of ideas penciled in for development sometime soon. Have fun!

pastry studio said...

Oh, and Kate - I forgot to address your question about the Kitchen Aid attachment. I've never tried it but I know someone who has one and they say it works fine.

Valérie-jeanne said...

Oooooo, yum. Another non-egg ice cream, thanks so much! This will pair nicely with a lemony, cherry pound cake that I'm planning to make this week.

pastry studio said...

OMG, Valerie-jeanne, that sounds like a fantastic combo.

Kathleen said...

Oh Pastry Studio, this looks especially tempting!

Thanks for the ice cream maker information.

>^oo^< (wide-eyed cat!)

Barbara said...

I am crazy about a lemon bar with an almond crust, so I know how well lemon and almonds pair.

Years ago I had seen a recipe for lotus ice cream...I think I still have it someplace. I thought then the flavors were sheer heaven. I love that you remembered those wonderful flavors from the ice cream shop and recreated it for us.
Great photos! It's so hard to take a drool-worthy photo of ice cream, but you've done it! said...

This ice cream looks light, creamy, and wonderful. I've been wanting to make a citrus flavored ice cream for some time now, and the inclusion of almond makes this even more enticing!

michelle said...

This sounds exactly like an ice cream I had once in Toronto which haunted my dreams. Between an ice cream and a sherbet. Sounds very, very close. I have to try it right away! Thanks for the recipe.

chriesi said...

It looks so good!

Frederick said...

Thanks for the recipe. I, also, have the flavor of this ice cream imbedded in my memory. It's on my agenda come warmer weather.

The ice cream shop in SF was Uncle Gaylords on Castro & 24th (?). I had one of his recipe books but it got lent out and not returned.