Lemon meringue ice cream

Lemon curd and meringues is a truly classic combination, well known throughout – in particular – the Anglo-Saxon culinary world. No wonder then, that these two ingredients that marry so well together also make for a fantastic, grown-up ice cream experience!


This recipe is an adaptation of a recipe by Joanna Farrow and Sara Lewis, found in their highly commendable book Ice Cream Machine: The Essential Cook’s Guide to Using an Electric Ice Cream Maker.

Meringues – yes, you can prepare them yourself, but chances are that you will actually get better results using the ready-made, crisp type which you will find in the shops: typical home-made, softer meringue simply tends to become too soggy in the company of the ice cream (“moisture is the meringues’  greatest enemy”,  as someone succinctly put it).  If you still want to prepare the meringue  yourself, try to  find a recipe for the firm, crisper type.

All that said, the lemon curd ice cream tastes quite fine even with prone-to-moisten meringues so do not despair if those are the only ones you have at hand.


The main ingredients – crisp meringues and lemon curd

While I used a ready-made lemon curd to save time, it is perfectly possible to make your own!There are quite a number of recipes out there, but to aid those in urgent need, I pass on the following simple recipe by Valli Little (from www.taste.com.au) which seems to have met with high acclaim:
  • 2 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
  • 165 gr (3/4 cup) sugar
  • 80 gr (1/3 cup) chilled, unsalted butter
  • zest and juice of 2 lemons

Whisk the whole eggs, the yolks and the sugar in a saucepan until smooth. Place the sauce pan over low heat. Add the butter, juice and zest and whisk continuously until thickened. Strain the curd through a sieve into a sterilised jar to get rid of the zest (if you do not prefer to leave it in). The lemon curd will keep for about 2 weeks in the fridge.

If you like your lemon curd more tart, add more lemon juice, or reduce the amount of sugar somewhat.

The adult favourite

Ah … the final result! This ice cream certainly turned out to be truly exquisite. In my experience, however, this is one of those more “adult” ice cream flavours – highly cherished by most grown-ups, less so by children. I would guess it depends on the relative tartness of the lemon curd. Make no mistake, however – this ice cream is appropriately sweet, but perhaps still too tart for many youngsters.

Lemon-meringue ice cream

My suggestion for dessert-time bliss: make a nice batch of lemon meringue ice cream for you and all your grown-up significant others. And make sure you also have something less tart to offer the younger ones:-)
Lemon meringue ice cream
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 90 gram (about 0.47 cup) sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon corn starch
  • 450 ml (1.9 cups) milk
  • 450 ml (1.9 cups) cream
  • about 200 gram lemon curd
  • lemon juice (about 4-6 tablespoons)
  • about 80 gram meringue (preferably of the stiff, firm type, lightly crushed/broken up)
  1. Lightly crush/break up the meringues. Put aside to chill in your refrigerator until the very end.
  2. Put the lemon curd in a small bowl and stir in about 4-6 tablespoons of lemon juice. Set aside to chill.
  3. Whisk together the egg yolks, the sugar and the corn starch in a bowl.
  4. In a sauce pan, cook the milk and the cream until steaming hot.
  5. Little by little, and while whisking constantly, pour the warm dairy liquid into the egg yolks/sugar mixture [the tempering stage].
  6. Return the liquid to the sauce pan, bringing the mixture to 82 degrees Celsius (about 179.5 º F) on low-medium heat and while stirring constantly with a spatula (to avoid the scrambled eggs-syndrome). If you do not use a thermometer, the ice cream base is ready when it has thickened somewhat and you are able to make a trace through the ice cream base on the back of the spatula that stays.
  7. Take off the heat and cool the ice cream base as quickly as possible.
  8. When cooled, chill the base in a refrigerator for at least a few hours.
  9. Then, churn the ice cream base until almost done (to soft serve-consistency).
  10. Spoon up ⅓ of the ice cream base into a container destined for the freezer.
  11. Scatter ⅓ of the lightly crushed meringues on top of the ice cream.
  12. Spoon over ⅓ of the lemon sauce over the layer of crushed meringues.
  13. Repeat the layering process, finishing with a layer of lemon sauce.
  14. Using a knife or something similar, lightly swirl the mixture together and level the surface.
  15. Cover the container with plastic wrap and freeze the ice cream for at least a couple of hours.
The recipe is an adaptation of a recipe by Joanna Farrow and Sara Lewis, authors of "Ice Cream Machine: The Essential Cook's Guide to Using an Electric Ice Cream Maker" (2005). While the amount of sugar might seem deceptively small (and the ice cream base initially also tastes like someone made a mistake by not adding enough), the final result will be perfectly fine - the "missing sugar" is made up for by the addition of the lemon curd and the meringues!

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