Lemon meringue ice cream is the perfect sweet-tart antidote for warm weather. With just enough lemon curd spiralled through to cut the sweetness, it's a citrus dream. This is the perfect no-waste egg recipe - yolks go in the ice cream, whites go in the meringues! You'll make more meringues than you need for the ice cream, but they last for ages and are lovely as is.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Meringues: use store-bought meringues if preferred. Kisses are a good option.
- Make it dairy-free: sub a good plant-based cream. You can also use 100% full-fat coconut milk (cream only) to replace both the milk and cream.
- Add-ins: try swirling in some raspberry or strawberry jam for an extra hit of fruit!
Step 1: beat the sugar and egg yolks until fluffy.
Step 2: heat the milk and cream, then temper the egg mixture with it before whisking in the remaining cream mixture.
Step 3: cook the custard down, then stir in the lemon juice.
Step 4: cool the custard.
Step 5: churn the custard in an ice cream maker.
Step 6: add the meringue pieces in layers with the ice cream.
Step 7: swirl the lemon curd through alternating layers.
Step 8: once the meringue and curd are incorporated, freeze the ice cream before serving.
- Scoop right from the freezer: no need to thaw before scooping, really, as this is soft enough to scoop right from the deep-freeze. You can pop it in the fridge for a few minutes beforehand if preferred, but it shouldn't be necessary.
- Cool rapidly: to quickly cool the custard, pour it into a heat-safe bowl and place it into an ice bath, stirring to speed cooling even more. It should come to room temperature in a few minutes. Alternatively, cover and set aside to cool.
- Fix a scrambled custard: if you cook the custard on too high a temperature and it curdles slightly, you can try to fix it by immediately setting the base of the saucepan into cold water and whisking rapidly. This won't work if it's scrambled, but will reduce small lumps enough to continue with the ice cream.
We haven't made this recipe no-churn, but you could follow Kelly's lemon curd ice cream recipe and add the meringue pieces in. The base ice cream won't be quite as lemony without cooking the zest, but it's still great.
The meringue pieces do soften slightly when mixed with the ice cream, but still add a nice texture.
How to Store
Freeze the ice cream in an airtight container for up to one month. Thaw in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before scooping and serving if the ice cream has been frozen for a long time.
Why does lemon ice cream not curdle?
As long as you follow the order and cook it fully, the lemon juice won't curdle the cream in lemon ice cream. The eggs prevent curdling and since the custard is cooked before lemon juice is added, you get a nice smooth ice cream.
What is lemon ice cream made of?
Lemon ice cream is made with the same custard base as other ice creams - egg yolks, sugar, cream, and milk - plus lemon juice and lemon zest for that citrus flavour.
What is the secret to good ice cream?
The trick to good homemade ice cream is patience. Wait until your custard is thickened properly, cool it fully, and churn until smooth for the best possible ice cream.
If you make this Lemon Meringue Ice Cream recipe or any other ice cream recipes on the Baked Collective, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more baking, follow along on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Lemon Meringue Ice Cream
- Ice cream maker
- Mixing bowl must be heat safe
- Hand mixer
- Wooden spoon
- Ice cream scoop
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- Before beginning, make sure your ice cream maker is fully frozen and ready to do.
- Add the sugar and egg yolks to a large, heat-safe mixing bowl. Use an electric hand mixer to whip until fluffy and lightened in colour, 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
- Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan. Heat over medium, stirring frequently, until almost boiling (once it starts to bubble, turn off the heat).
- Slowly pour ¼ cup of the hot milk into the sugar mixture, stirring as you pour. This tempers the eggs, preventing curdling.
- Add the remaining milk in a low stream, stirring constantly, until fully incorporated. Whisk in the lemon zest.
- Pour the milk mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. This should take about 10 minutes, and the custard is ready when it coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- Pour the lemon juice into the custard and whisk to incorporate.
- To quickly cool the custard, pour it into a heat-safe bowl and place it into an ice bath, stirring to speed cooling even more. It should come to room temperature in a few minutes. Alternatively, cover and set aside to cool.
- Once the custard has cooled, cover and place it into the refrigerator to chill for about two hours. Once chilled, it should be thickened and cold to the touch.
- Pour the chilled custard into your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Once the ice cream has churned, scoop it into a container with a lid. Stir in the meringue pieces, then swirl in the lemon curd. You can add the curd in two layers (add half the ice cream, swirl, then add the remaining ice cream and swirl again) to ensure that it’s evenly incorporated.
- Freeze the ice cream in an airtight container for up to one month. Thaw in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before scooping and serving.