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Lemon Custard Ice Cream.

Lemon Custard Ice Cream

  • Author: Cindy @mycountrytable
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/2 quarts 1x
  • Category: Frozen desserts
  • Method: Freeze
  • Cuisine: American


This Lemon Custard Ice Cream is velvety smooth with a perfectly tart lemon flavor, and it’s super easy to make at home.


Units Scale
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Prepare your ice cream maker by freezing the bowl for at least 1 day ahead of time. I keep mine in my big freezer at all times.
  2. Add the egg yolks to a medium bowl or large 2-cup measuring cup. Lightly whisk them with a fork and set aside.
  3. Add the milk, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon zest to a medium saucepan. Whisk the mixture over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Continue whisking for a minute or so until it begins to slightly thicken. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour about 1/2 of the milk mixture into the egg yolks, while beating vigorously with a whisk or fork, until the egg yolks and milk are combined. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. (This is called tempering the eggs. If you were to simply add the egg yolks to the pan of hot mixture, they would cook up into scrambled pieces of egg). Return the saucepan to medium heat. Bring the mixture back to a boil while whisking constantly. Cook until the mixture starts to thicken and remove from the heat, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4.  Strain the cooked mixture through a sieve over a medium bowl. This will remove any possible pieces of cooked egg and also the lemon zest. The zest has already done its job, so it doesn’t matter if it’s removed.
  5. Add the heavy cream, lemon juice, and vanilla to the cooked mixture and whisk to thoroughly combine. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard, to prevent a skin from forming on top, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  6. Place the frozen ice cream maker bowl in the ice cream maker. Pour the chilled ice cream mixture into the ice cream maker. Churn until the ice cream is thick and a soft-serve consistency. I ran mine for the auto max time on my Cuisinart Ice Cream maker, and it was the perfect consistency.
  7. Transfer the ice cream to a loaf pan. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface, then wrap another piece around the pan. Place in the freezer for 3 1/2 to 4 hours until it reaches the desired firmness you want. I took mine out at 3 1/2 hours and it was perfect.
  8. Serve and enjoy!


  • If you freeze the ice cream for over 4 hours, allow it to sit for at least 5 minutes before trying to scoop.

Keywords: frozen desserts, ice cream, lemon ice cream, lemon custard ice cream, frozen ice cream, lemon desserts, lemons, lemon recipes,