Friday, May 13, 2011

Recipe: Homemade Vanilla-Citrus Ice Cream (No maker required!)

This recipe has been reposted due to the technical issues Blogger had this week.

Last Mother's Day weekend was the first time my mom had come to visit in months, so we had a TON of catching up to do: home improvement, spending QT with the furbabies (all three of which are living with me now... talk about a full house!) and, of course, plenty of girl talk. 

But two days end up going by far too quickly, and just like that, mom had to head back to the Bay.  However, because this was a special occasion and I very rarely get the chance to cook for her, I wasn't about to let her leave without preparing a tremendous Mother's Day feast...

Amuse Bouche
Shrimp in White Chocolate Hollandaise Sauce
Jeweled Beet Salad with Chevre and Minneola-Rosemary Vinaigrette
Chicken Crepes Cordon Bleu with Sauteed Mushrooms
Homemade Vanilla-Citrus Ice Cream with Fresh Strawberries

Needless to say, the lady was quite overwhelmed!  I designed the menu to feature many of her favorite foods prepared differently than what she's used to, so of course, everything was her "favorite".  It made my heart swell with pride to see her enjoy her meal so much while she doled out compliment after compliment.  And compliments from my mom aren't that easy to come by!

Getting back to the task at hand, I'm doing the menu recap backwards by starting with dessert because A) I haven't posted a dessert in awhile, and B) I am still beaming with pride at the fact that I, Kimberly A. Morales, made ice cream.  All by myself.  Without a machine, even.

Poor Girl just can't justify the cost of an ice cream machine right now.

Anyway, I had heard legends of ice cream being made sans machines, but every time I researched the topic it turned out these people were going back to ice cream's roots and using wooden buckets with lots of salt and plenty of churning.  I can wax nostalgic as well as the rest of them, but returning to Little House on the Prairie wasn't exactly what I was aiming to do on such a short weekend.

So I thought about the granita I am so fond of making and figured if the process works for a water/juice-based dessert, it had to work with something creamy.  With the logistics figured out, all I needed was a good, basic ice cream recipe I could adapt to the ideas I had.  After a bit of Googling, I found the perfect recipe (and the validation I needed about my no-machine-ice-cream-must-be-like-making granita idea) from the frozen confection guru himself: David Lebovitz.

Since I didn't have access to affordable vanilla beans, I used the vanilla extract I had in my cupboards.  Not the same at all, but hey... that's what Poor Girl does.  One makes due with what one has and makes it fabulous.  Back at the ice cream parlor, since I had a bit of a citrus theme weaving through different parts of the menu, I decided to add a bit of grated minneola zest to my ice cream.  It gave the ice cream a nice dash flavor, texture and color.  If you don't have access to minneolas, don't fret - Meyer lemon, mandarin or key lime zest would be great substitutes if you can't find minneolas.

In terms of cost, some of you might be thinking four bucks is not exactly a "deal", especially compared to some of my other desserts.  But sometimes I want ice cream and I don't have the $3-4 to buy a pint at the store.  In the meantime, things like milk, eggs and sugar are probably going to be in my kitchen anyway, so if I do have them, I can just make the ice cream.

Who knew all it took was just a bit of patience and minimal upper body workout to enjoy some fantastic homemade ice cream?

Homemade Vanilla-Citrus Ice Cream (makes 1.5 pints; total cost of recipe: ~ $4)
Loosely adapted from David Lebovitz's Vanilla Ice Cream recipe

8 large egg yolks
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 c milk (I used 1%, but the higher the fat content, the creamier the ice cream)
3/4 c sugar
1 T vanilla extract
2 T citrus zest (orange, mandarin, lime, lemon, etc)

Prepare an ice water bath in a large bowl and set aside in the sink.  In a separate large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract until smooth.  Heat the cream & milk in a saucepan, taking care not to let the mixture boil.  Slowly pour the heated cream into the egg mixture, whisking vigorously to prevent the yolk from clumping.

Return the custard mixture to the saucepan.  Cook over medium low heat for at least ten minutes, stirring constantly.  The custard is ready when it coats the back of a wooden spoon.  Remove from heat and pour into a bowl, then place the bowl into the ice bath.  Allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

When the custard has cooled a bit, add the citrus zest and stir until combined.  Pour the mixture into a deep pan and place in the freezer.  After about 45 minutes, check the custard and, using a spatula or spoon, stir the frozen bits into the rest of the mix until smooth.  Return to freezer and repeat this process every 30 minutes for about 2 hours, making sure that the mixture is smooth each time before putting it back to freeze. Store in an airtight container until ready to eat.

Spoon a couple scoops of ice cream into small bowls or dishes, garnish with fresh strawberries and enjoy!


  1. Looks delicious! And such pretty pictures too.

  2. I am an ice cream lover and this recipe looks amazing! :) Thank you for sharing!

  3. Adapted this recipe by replacing the heavy cream with pureed silken tofu, the milk with coconut milk, the sugar with 1 tsp stevia extract, and flavored it differently with peppermint, sugar-free dark chocolate, and some chopped up gluten-free oreo cookies. It's in the freezer now; very excited!

  4. The Homemade Vanilla Citrus Ice cream looks lusciously delicious! It seems to me that you have prepared the best courses to celebrate Mother's day despite her short visit. You have certainly made your mom feel special on her day. The ice cream is highly irresistible and you spent $4 only? Incredible! I never knew that spending less than $5 is enough to make a tasty desert. You proved me wrong.. I like the concept of creating yummy desserts that are highly affordable. I'm going to try this and hopefully, my family will love it too.



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