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.
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.
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.