I am a little bit of a kitchen gadget geek. Particularly when it comes to gadgets that claim to make things easier. I love my strawberry slicer, my cherry pitter and my onion chopper, but when it comes to the cabinet-space sucking larger gadgets, I tend to think twice. But a few years ago, I finally caved in a bought a simple ice cream maker – just an electric base with a bowl that goes in the freezer, ready for your next batch. And man I am glad I did, particularly in summer, when ice cream is the perfect dessert, and homemade, tailored to your personal taste, is both a special treat and an impressive dish to serve friends. Freezing takes about 30 minutes, and the possibilities are endless for loads of tasty fun. I have never looked back.
This lemon meringue pie version I created for my mom. Lemon meringue pie is her favorite dessert, and I have never quite gotten the pie right. But this version is idiot proof. Crumbled graham crackers, purchased meringue cookies and jarred lemon curd create all the rich, custardy flavor with the tang of lemon in a couldn’t- be-simpler ice cream base.
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream
Zest and juice of one medium lemon
1 (12 ounce) jar lemon curd
6- 7 graham cracker sheets
12 small meringue cookies (or 6 large)
In a bowl, whisk together the milk and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. I use a hand mixer for about 2 minutes to get everything well blended. Whisk in the cream, lemon zest and juice. Pour the cream base into an ice cream freezer and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Meanwhile, break the graham sheets into very small pieces by placing them in a ziptop bag and crushing with your fingers. Some crumbs are fine, but the pieces need to be bite sized. Place the meringue cookies into another bag and pop each one with your fingers to break it up into shards. They will pop apart easily so don’t get carried away.
About half-way through the recommended freezing time for the ice cream, spoon in the lemon curd, a little at a time, so it blends into the ice cream. As the freezing time comes to an end, drop in the graham pieces until mixed in, then the meringue pieces. When everything is mixed in and the ice cream is frozen, scoop it into freezer containers and freeze for several hours or overnight.