Found Favorite and Baskin Robbins’ Copycat: Lemon Custard Ice Cream

Lemon custard ice cream

It’s been a while since I’ve dusted off the ice cream maker and made a batch of ice cream. But I discovered a flavor at Baskin Robbins that mysteriously disappeared on a return visit: lemon custard ice cream. It’s silky, creamy and has a nice lemon tang that’s refreshing on a hot day.

I don’t make it a habit to go to Baskin Robbins on a regular basis. Aside from my fleeting curiosity for their clown cones a few years back, I visit Baskin Robbins less than 5 times a year. It’s usually to satisfy an immediate craving for a full-fat, cold treat that frozen yogurt can’t match but without having to commit to a whole container of ice cream sitting in my freezer if I purchased it in a grocery store.

But the one serving of lemon custard ice cream I ate had me calling all over San Diego County to see if any shops carried it. Sure enough, I discovered the supply sold out as soon as it hit the ice cream bins. My online research also shows that some people believe the flavor was discontinued, causing fans of the flavor to buy gallons of it to stockpile in their freezers.

Lemon peel

I don’t like the thought of ice cream sitting in a freezer when it can be made fresh. This recipe is based on a vanilla custard ice cream. Strips of lemon peel infuse the base and yolks round out the custard portion of the ice cream. I think it’s as close to Baskin Robbins’ version as it can get. If you’re unsure about how much lemon to use, adjust the amount of lemon juice prior to chilling the mixture.

Ice cream progress

Lemon Custard Ice Cream

2 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
skin of one lemon cut into strips
pinch of salt
6 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup lemon juice

Combine cream, sugar, lemon peel and salt in a saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove lemon peels.

While cream is simmering, beat egg yolks until creamy in a medium bowl.

Temper the eggs by slowly adding cream one ladle at a time until eggs warm up. Pour the egg mixture back into saucepan with rest of cream and stir continuously over medium heat.

Stir until until mixture thickens up and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and transfer into a clean bowl.

Cool for 10 minutes, add lemon juice and vanilla extract. Place in refrigerator until mixture is cold.

Pour custard in ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s directions.

27 thoughts on “Found Favorite and Baskin Robbins’ Copycat: Lemon Custard Ice Cream

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  1. Just made this for our Easter dinner dessert. So very good. I even lowered the sugar to just 1/2 cup and it was still plenty sweet enough for us. Great way to use up a bunch of fresh farm eggs that I had in surplus.

  2. This has been my favorite ice cream since childhood. The best I ever ate was in
    Katania Sicily. Baskin Robbins is very good, but the old Klein’s Ice Cream Stores
    in Houston served the only other one I’ve ever eaten that was right up there with
    the Sicilian. There was a lady who ran the store and took an unusual personal
    interest in the product of her ice cream. Her shop was on the town square in
    Katania right outside the cathedral.

  3. I love love love lemon custard icecream and I really need to try this,they haven’t discontinued it in the baskin Robbins near me (I’m eating it right now but I’m getting low so I decided I should make my own) I live in Maryland.

  4. Lemon Custard has been my absolute favorite BR ice cream for literally 50 years. They didn’t discontinue it. It’s just offered a few months out of the year. It was offered in May and June this year. I would try this wonderful recipe, except that when you actually have to make it yourself you see just how much sugar and fat you are consuming. I’d rather devour the wonderful stuff in blissful denial.

  5. I’m currently savoring Lemon Custard as I am typing this. It is so very hard to find, but I have to say that this last batch purchased from Baskin Robbins is a bit disappointing. It is a bit grainy and not as smooth as it is known for being. I will have to break down and try this recipe. Looking forward to having it whenever I want.

  6. I worked st Baskin Robbins in high school. Lemon Custard was and still is my favorite. Great recipe and great flavor. Thanks for the recipe.

      1. Baskin Robbins sucks for taking the best ice cream away lemon custard what a bunch of idiot’s

  7. Baskin Robbins sucks for taking away the BEST ICE CREAM THEY have EVER! LEMON CUSTARD. ….BRING IT BACK YOU FOOLS!

  8. WHY WHY WHY? WHY would you take Lemon CUSTARD away you ifiotts . IT’S THE BEST YOU HAVE OUT OF YOUR FLAVORS YOU STUPID IDIOT BASKIN ROBBINS. YOU should go our of business for idiot Ness.

  9. I’m so tired of BROWN taking lemon custard off the menu. Where I live I’ve waited nearly four years for them to bring it back. FINALLY last month I just happened to walk in and there it was!!!!! I bought the whole barrel. That poor guy thought I was crazy cause I had him break it down into pints. I’m sure he hated me. But that’s what happens when you have to wait 4 yrs for your favorite ice cream in the world. They should keep it year round. That’s the only flavor of ice cream I really like well maybe a little peppermint too. Thanks fir the recipe, now I’ll never be without it again😊😊😊😊😊

  10. I’m so tired of BROWN taking lemon custard off the menu. Where I live I’ve waited nearly four years for them to bring it back. FINALLY last month I just happened to walk in and there it was!!!!! I bought the whole barrel. That poor guy thought I was crazy cause I had him break it down into pints. I’m sure he hated me. But that’s what happens when you have to wait 4 yrs for your favorite ice cream in the world. They should keep it year round. That’s the only flavor of ice cream I really like well maybe a little peppermint too. Thanks fir the recipe, now I’ll never be without it again😊😊😊😊😊

  11. It is a regional flavor so we have it all the time , however, my other favorite is banana nut which ours does not carry ever

  12. Omg I can’t believe this
    21 years ago when my first born was an infant me and my mother took her and went to Gatling Tennessee on the strip there is a baskin Robbins my mother suggested trying the lemon custard and it was awesome it became my favorite the entire vacation but sadly I have never had it again we could never find it so I will try this recipe

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