This homemade Limoncello Ice Cream recipe is our favourite frozen custard to scoop when a craving for a cool and refreshing citrus dessert hits.
The easy recipe is prepared using an Ice Cream Maker, which churns creamy lemon custard into a rich and velvety Limoncello Ice Cream.
It’s the perfect after dinner treat for lemon lovers, offering a velvety and rich texture and slight sweetness that balances out the acidity of the citrus.
Enjoy as a cool scoop on a hot day or serve as a special dessert like a lemon custard ice cream sundae with wafer cookies, whipped cream, fresh berries and lemon slice.
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What Is Lemon Custard Ice Cream?
Limoncello Ice Cream is the ultimate dessert for citrus fans.
Our homemade recipe is categorized as a custard ice cream. So what’s the difference between ice cream and frozen custard?
Frozen Custard is a cold, creamy dessert made of milk, cream, sugar, and egg yolks. The egg yolks in a custard recipe help the dessert retain a velvety, scoopable texture even after freezing. Think of it as the most decadent ice cream you’ve ever had!
Our Lemon Custard Ice Cream recipe gets its distinct pucker-worthy citrus flavour from the addition of Italian Limoncello liqueur, as well as lemon peels that steep in simmering cream.
What Is Limoncello?
Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy, especially in the region around the Gulf of Naples, the Amalfi Coast, and Sicily.
It is the second-most popular liqueur in Italy (after Campari) and is traditionally served chilled as an after-dinner digestivo.
Traditionally, limoncello is made from the zest of Femminello St. Teresa lemons, also known as Sorrento or Sfusato lemons. Lemon zest, or peels without the pith, are steeped in rectified spirit until the oil is released. The resulting yellow liquid is then mixed with simple syrup. Varying the sugar-to-water ratio and the temperature affects the clarity, viscosity, and flavour.
Limoncello is a popular homemade liqueur, prepared by many Italian families to enjoy at the table at dinner or by bartenders who offer complimentary shots at the end of a romantic restaurant meal.
Many variations of limoncello are also available. These include arancello (flavoured with oranges), agrumello (flavoured with mixed citrus), pistachiocello (flavoured with pistachio nuts), meloncello (flavoured with cantaloupe, and fragoncello (flavoured with strawberry).
Homemade Limoncello is so easy to make. It is prepared from the zest of lemons and usually has a slightly cloudy appearance, caused by the presence of small essential oil droplets suspended in the drink.
If you’re visiting Southern Italy in the hot summer months you’ll find plenty of local gelato shops selling refreshing scoops of Limoncello Ice Cream.
Travel To Italy By Making Lemon Custard Ice Cream At Home
I love traveling to Europe!
During my first visit to the continent I traveled for 5 months by train and plane. I had the opportunity to eat my way through Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland,Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Czech, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Bosnia, Hungary, Slovakia, Greece, Turkey and Italy.
What I love most about traveling to Italy is the opportunity to sample unique dishes and drinks in each region and city. The dishes in Tuscany (Florence, Pisa, Volterra, Saturnia, Pitigliano, Sorano, Montalcino, Siena) are unique from what you’d find in Venice, Modena, Milan, Rome, and Amalfi Coast.
Limoncello is a popular lemon liqueur unique to Naples and the Amalfi Coast but can be found across Southern Italy. It can be enjoyed chilled and slowly sipped in a shot glass, poured over ice or enjoyed as a spritz with soda and prosecco. It’s a must-try drink for those enjoying a luxurious vacation in Positano or Capri.
My favourite way to use limoncello at home is by making this decadent Lemon Custard Ice Cream recipe. Once scooped into a bowl you can impress guests by drizzling additional limoncello liqueur for a delightfully boozy dessert.
My Family Loves Limoncello Ice Cream
What family doesn’t love ice cream?
I spent months researching Toronto’s best ice cream & gelato. In search of the city’s most drool-worthy frozen desserts, I found endless inspiring flavour combinations.
Over the years each family member has developed a penchant for a particular flavour. I love Lemon Custard Ice Cream, Dad hearts Jamoca Almond Fudge, Mom adores Mint Chocolate Chip and my sister raves for Pralines & Cream.
I knew my family would enjoy this recipe because they love Italian desserts, sweet sips of limoncello, and smooth and creamy ice cream scoops.
Once the ice cream is finished churning and has the consistency of soft serve, scoop it into a large tub and place in the freezer overnight to harden so it’s easy to scoop onto cones.
We love to serve Lemon Custard Ice Cream on its own but you can jazz up a sundae by adding fresh summer berries, vanilla wafer cookies, whipped cream and drizzle of limoncello.
The ice cream also tastes great as an accompaniment to summer berry pies and pavlova.
Homemade Ice Cream Recipe Tips
If it’s your first time making homemade Limoncello Ice Cream we suggest reading our step by step recipe from top to bottom. Familiarize yourself with each step before you start cooking in the kitchen.
Here are some helpful tips and tricks for first time ice cream makers:
- Use a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker for great results.
- Use organic whole milk and whipping cream if you can find it.
- Add additional lemon flavour to the ice cream by stirring in dollops of lemon curd into the soft serve once finished churning.
- Additional mix ins you might enjoy include fresh berries, white chocolate chips and chunks of vanilla cheesecake.
- Serve your homemade ice cream immediately out of the machine for soft serve texture, or store in the freezer and scoop for a harder more authentic ice cream parlour experience.
- Serve Lemon Custard Ice Cream simply on a cone or as a fun sundae with cookies, muffins or slice of cake.
Storing Homemade Limoncello Ice Cream
Once you’ve mixed the freshly churned soft ice cream base store it in the freezer overnight to harden so you can scoop it easily.
If you’re making ice cream sandwiches, form them when the ice cream is soft then immediately store them upright in the freezer in a container or freezer bag.
Our homemade Limoncello Ice Cream can be stored in the freezer for up to a month. But, I really doubt it will last much longer than a few days!
What To Serve With Lemon Custard Ice Cream
If you’re an ice cream traditionalist you’ll likely want to lick our Lemon Custard Ice Cream off a cone or scoop out of a bowl all on its own.
If you’re celebrating a special occasion, or simply live your life with the mantra YOLO, dress up your homemade ice cream by serving it as a sundae or between two homemade cookies as a gourmet ice cream sandwich.
We love serving this ice cream recipe smushed between Lemon Lavender Shortbread Cookies.
If you’re preparing this dessert for a birthday or special celebration like Easter or Mother’s Day we suggest serving a scoop of ice cream with a slice of our popular Rhubarb Cake or Polenta Lemon Cake.
You May Also Enjoy These Ice Cream Recipes…
- Gianduja Hazelnut Chocolate Truffle Ice Cream
- Homemade Peaches and Cream Ice Cream
- Chapman’s Checkered Cotton Candy Ice Cream Sundae
- Blueberry Lemon Curd Ice Cream
- Homemade Pralines and Cream Ice Cream
- Black Forest Ice Cream Sundae
- Tropical Coconut Mango Ice Cream Sundae
- Espresso Coffee Java Chip Ice Cream
- Maple Black Walnut Ice Cream
- Blueberry Cream Cheese Earl Grey Ice Cream
- Buttered Popcorn Ice Cream with Caramel
- Chocolate Chip Caramel Banana Nut Ice Cream
- Homemade Double Chocolate Ice Cream
- Grasshopper Ice Cream Recipe
How To Make Homemade Limoncello Ice Cream
Homemade Limoncello Lemon Custard Ice Cream
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- Large pot
- Wooden spoon
- Ice Cream Machine
- 1.25 cups Whipping Cream
- 1.25 cups Full Fat Homo Milk
- 1 Lemon peel
- 4 Egg Yolks
- 1/3 cup White Sugar plus 1 tbsp
- 1/4 cup Limoncello Liqueur
- Add the cream, milk and lemon peel to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from the heat to avoid overflowing.
- Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy.
- Remove the lemon zest from the milk and discard. Very slowly add the hot milk mixture to the beaten eggs and sugar while constantly whisking. Continue until the mixture is completely incorporated.
- Add the mixture back to the saucepan and heat on a low heat while stirring with a wooden spoon. It will take at least 10 minutes for the mixture to thicken into a custard. It is finished when it coats the back of the wooden spoon.
- Once thickened, remove from the heat for 10 minutes then add the Limoncello and stir. Set aside to cool for around 20-30 minutes before using the ice cream machine.
- Follow the ice cream makers directions. Once the churning is complete you’ll have very soft ice cream at this point.
- Scoop the mixture into a freezer proof container and freeze for a few hours or overnight for a thicker ice cream texture. Scoop and serve.
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