Remember how your family invites The Boss over for dinner all the time, and you need to impress him?
Henry’s boss hadn’t had homemade ice cream since he was a kid. No wonder he raved and raved. Susie didn’t tell him it was easy. Just a little lemon trick.
What I really like about this little tidbit is it shows that homemade ice cream was antiquated even in the 50’s.
2 cups half & half or heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh grated lemon peel
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
In large bowl, stir together cream and sugar until sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Mix in lemon peel and juice. Pour into ice cube tray, 8″ square pan, or directly into sherbet dishes. Freeze several hours until firm. Makes about 1 1/2 pints.
OK, so you’re not inviting Boss over for dinner. Maybe you just really want some cool and refreshing lemon sherbet during a unpleasantly hot and sticky summer, and you don’t have an ice cream maker.
But you do have a fresh lemon, a pint of half and half, and some sugar.
The zest is largely for color and texture, I think.
What was really cool here was the chemistry.
The lemon juice made it thicker almost as soon as it was poured in — not quite ice cream thick, perhaps, but heavy cream thick. The change was astonishingly fast.
After it chilled in the freezer for a few hours, it scooped exactly like ice cream and looked exactly like ice cream. (We used Buzz’s grandmother’s fancy Carnival Glass sorbet glass for this picture. Preeeeetty.)
This has spectacular flavor. The fresh lemon is balanced perfectly with the sugar and dairy, and the lemon zest adds nice texture. I do think that half-and-half was a better choice than heavy cream: the thickening effect of the lemon juice was balanced by the lower fat content of the half-and-half. It had the consistency of ice cream without requiring any churning.
I wouldn’t have thought that such a simple recipe could have yielded such results. The Boss would definitely be impressed, and deservedly so.
Lovely Sunkist ad shared on Flickr by Shelf Life Taste Test.