Frozen lemon bisque is what my mother always called this lovely dessert. It was her party piece for years, served at all her dinner parties, and sometimes just for us. She always served it from a cut crystal bowl, a bowl I always think of as the lemon bisque bowl. And she always served it with a blueberry sauce, sometimes with nutmeg. I have always loved that dessert, and at one point, my mother included it in a stack of her recipe cards that she gave me. I have that stack in the drawer where I store those things, but not the lemon bisque recipe. And when she handed over her whole recipe box – no lemon bisque. And she obviously remembers the dessert but couldn’t remember a usable recipe. Of course, I searched online, but the frozen lemon desserts I found generally contained sweetened condensed milk or evaporated milk or gelatin or egg whites, and I just knew that wasn’t the dish I remember. I have pined over the frozen lemon bisque for years.
Maybe it’s getting older, maybe more than ten years of recipe writing makes it hard to remember everything I’ve written, but while looking for another recipe in back issues of At Home Memphis magazine, where I once had a monthly column, I found the recipe listed as Frozen Lemon Souffle. I made it almost immediately and had my family over to try it. My mother was thrilled, my brother reminiscent and my sister-in-law and nieces and nephews were seriously impressed. And just in time for summer! I am now in possession of the lemon bisque bowl, but I was too nervous to put it in the freezer. That made my mother laugh – she insists it’s been in an out of the freezer so many times it must be impervious to breakage.
Frozen lemon bisque is light as air and spectacularly refreshing. It is wonderous that these few ingredients and simple technique create something so beautiful. It is elegant in a crystal bowl, but equally delicious from any simple container that fits in the freezer. The tart-sweet blueberry compote is a perfect complement, but any kind of simple fruit sauce works, or simply fresh fruit or berries. This blackberry limoncello compote would work a treat.
Frozen Lemon Bisque with Blueberry Nutmeg Compote
- Frozen Lemon Bisque
4 cups heavy cream
Pinch of salt
1 ½ Tablespoons lemon zest
6 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 2 large or 3 small lemons)
2 cups granulated sugar
- Blueberry Nutmeg Compote
18 ounces (about 3 ½ cups) fresh blueberries
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon nutmeg, plus a dash
- For the Lemon Bisque
- Beat the cream and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until it holds stiff peaks. Chill in the fridge for half an hour. In a medium bowl, stir together the lemon juice, lemon rind and sugar until thoroughly combined. Set aside while the cream chills. Fold the lemon and sugar mixture into the chilled cream with the mixer on low until thoroughly combined. Use a spatula to fold through and make sure it is well combined. Spoon the bisque into a large freezer safe bowl, smoothing the top. Freeze for several hours or overnight. When frozen, cover the top with plastic wrap. The bisque will keep for several days in the fridge.
- For the Blueberry Compote
- For the Blueberry Compote:
Put the all the ingredients into a medium saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, then cook until the blueberries beign to pop and the syrup thickens. Stir in a dash of nutmeg. Cool completely. The compote can be refrigerated for several days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
- You can add a drop or two of yellow food coloring to give this a lemony look.