This lemon ice, made with lemon juice, sugar, and water, is a summer classic. No ice cream maker required. (Doesn’t just looking at it make you feel cooler?)
This frozen treat has a texture somewhere between an ice pop and sorbet, achieved by pureeing the ice crystals after they’ve formed. It’s cool and bracingly refreshing.–Lucinda Scala Quinn
CAN I ADJUST THE FLAVOR OF MY LEMON ICEY?
There are a few ways to change up the flavor of your icey. Mint (or any other herb you like, actually) is an easy way to add a little bit of a spark to this tangy little number. Just steep the leaves in the simple syrup while you’re waiting for it to cool and strain before freezing. You can also add a little boozy edge and make this into an adult treat by adding a teaspoon of your choice of liquor. It doesn’t sound like a lot but adding too much alcohol will change the way your icey freezes. Finally, you can change your choice of citrus juices—any combination of lemon, lime, or even grapefruit—to personalize your refreshments.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup ice cold water
- Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove the simple syrup from the heat and let cool.
- Combine the lemon juice and 1 cup simple syrup in an 8-inch square baking dish. Move to the freezer and chill, raking the mixture with a fork every 30 minutes, until flaky and frozen, about 3 hours total.
- Pour the frozen mixture into a blender and puree with the water. Divide among six 4-ounce ramekins or disposable paper cups and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours or up to 2 days. Remove from the freezer 15 to 20 minutes before scooping and slurping.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
The taste of this Italian lemon ice is delicious, bracing, and exactly right—it’s cool, sweet, and tart all at once. The texture is wonderful. I wondered when I first read through the recipe whether the blending would be worth the extra step. It is.
And it’s easy enough for a 9-year-old to put together. The only difficulty we had was waiting through the crystal-making and freezing time. We froze half the icey in Popsicle molds and served the rest in pretty bowls with a tiny spoon. We were mighty happy to have this on hand for 2 of the hottest days on record in our area.
This lemon ice was cool, tart, and wonderfully refreshing. No need to ever buy lemon sorbet again.
I made this using Meyer lemon juice, which I just love. After “raking” the mixture every 30 minutes, I also nibbled what clung to the fork each time. By the time I put the mixture in our blender, I was so pleased with the taste, I added only 1/2 cup cold water (instead of 1 cup) because I didn’t want to dilute the taste that much.
Originally published August 20, 2013