Thursday, April 10, 2014

Recipe :: Jeni's Lemon Cream Ice Cream

As a graduate of Ohio State University, I spent four years of my life exploring the Midwestern city of Columbus, OH. The second year of school my mom took me to a new ice cream stand she had heard about in our local market, and this stand ended up being owned by the infamous Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. Since then Jeni has opened sixteen brick and mortar shops across the Midwest, sells her artistic flavors such as Queen City Cayenne, Wild Berry Lavender, and Goat Cheese with Roasted Red Cherries at fine grocers nationwide, and published a best-selling cookbook. I picked up her book, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home, for my mom a few years ago and I have to say, if you love ice cream and have any sort of desire to make it at home you MUST buy this!

My mom has cooked her way through Jeni's cookbook in which she literally breaks down each of her flavors to an exact science {you will learn more about ice cream than you ever knew was possible}. I was nervous to try to recreate one of her flavors, worried that there was no way the ice cream could turn out as delicious as the real thing...but was I ever wrong! It is literally the creamiest, most indulgent, creative ice cream I have ever eaten.

This past Sunday I went home to find my mom making a batch of Lemon Cream Ice Cream, and as expected it was absolutely fabulous. The perfect combination of sweet and tart, it was a refreshing spring treat served with fresh berries {and if you have homemade shortcake, even better!}  I loved the recipe so much I just had to share it with you all :)

Lemon Cream Ice Cream (recipe via Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home)
Makes about 1 quart

2-3 lemons
2 tablespoons sugar

2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1.5 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
Zest of 2-lemons (reserved from above)

Prep for the lemon syrup: Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from 2 of the lemons in large strips; reserve. Halve the lemons and squeeze enough juice to make 1/2 cup. Combine the lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and refrigerate until chilled. This won't be a very thick syrup. 

Prep for the ice cream base: Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. 

Cook: Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, corn syrup, and lemon zest in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes -- watch it closely and stir occasionally to make sure it doesn't boil over. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. 

Chill: Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes. 

Freeze: Remove the lemon zest. Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister and turn on the machine. Pour the lemon syrup through the opening in the top of the machine, and continue to spin the ice cream until thick and creamy.   Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, about 4 hours.  Enjoy!


  1. I am, sadly, lactose intolerant, but it's only ever a tragedy when it comes to cheese --and for cheese, I will suffer, or take a lactaid pill :) As such, I never developed much of a palate for ice cream (crazy, I know!) but my dad could down an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's in one sitting. So I know there's an ice cream lover in my genes, and this Jeni's recipe might be what brings it out! xo

  2. This looks amazing!! I can't eat dairy either....but that doesn't mean I can't at least eat a bite :)


  3. I love Jeni's ice cream but don't get it enough here in the Northeast!

    x Lily

  4. so cool that you saw Jeni's stand before she was big time. we have Jeni's in Nashville now and it is my all time favorite! <3

  5. I LOVE Jeni's - thanks for sharing this! Your blog design is beautiful! :)

  6. Wow. I bet it was awesome!! Never heard of her...but checking into her book now!

  7. This looks positively sublime! A must try! I love the ice cream glasses....those green stems are so charming! Beautiful photos Molly.

  8. Effie Georgiadou-RibottApril 10, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    I'm definitely going to try this one! Thanks for sharing! :)

  9. Looks delicious! The addition of cream cheese is such a decadent ingredient. I would have never thought of that!

  10. Christine DinsmoreApril 10, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    i made ice cream a couple times last year and it was actually much easier than i imagined it would. though i am sure i could make it even better if i kept trying, or if i had a cookbook such as this to teach me!

  11. Thank you, Jeni, for sharing your recipes with your us

  12. There are some food groups/ meals I've always steered clear on as they felt too much of a challenge to make! Risotto for example; even though I know it's easy!

    This may have pushed me to make my first ever ice cream batch!

    Sophie x


  13. Yum! I love lemon desserts! This sounds sooo good!