This sweet and tangy Lime Ice Cream makes a super refreshing treat. Topped with crumbled graham crackers, it’s reminiscent of Key Lime Pie!
We planted a lime tree in our backyard several years ago, but it’s been slow to produce limes.
This year, the tree finally fruited, and I’ve been dreaming about what to do with our first harvest as I waited for the limes to ripen.
Since the weather has been so hot, I mixed up some Lime Ice Cream, and I’m so glad I did. This sweet, tangy ice cream tastes almost like Key Lime Pie filling.
It’s rich and creamy and refreshing all at the same time. It’s the perfect treat for hot days!
While I made this ice cream with Persian limes, you could sub in key limes if you prefer, though their small size always makes zesting and juicing them feel like a big task.
How to make Lime Ice Cream
This smooth, creamy treat starts with a custard base that cooks briefly on the stove.
Combine sugar, lime zest and juice, eggs, and milk in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly until steam rises from the pan and the fragrant base just begins to bubble around the edges.
Strain the hot liquid into a container that holds at least one quart. I like to pour the mixture through the strainer into a one quart spouted measuring cup, which makes it easier to transfer the base into an ice cream maker.
Add heavy cream and vanilla extract to the custard, and then let the mixture chill in the refrigerator until it’s quite cold. I usually let it rest overnight.
If you’re in a hurry, you can use a water bath to speed the process along. Just fill a large bowl with ice water and nestle the bowl containing the ice cream base into the water bath, taking care to prevent water from spilling into the ice cream mixture. Stir occasionally until cold to the touch.
Once the base is cold, freeze it according to your ice cream maker’s directions and transfer it to a pre chilled container that will hold one quart. I like to use a loaf pan or a dedicated ice cream container because they tuck into my crowded freezer nicely. Their long and narrow shape also makes scooping the ice cream easier.
If you serve this Lime Ice Cream right away, it melts quite quickly! I recommend letting the ice cream chill for several hours in the freezer to harden, which makes it possible to serve up satisfying scoops that will hold their shape for longer than a couple of minutes.
Lime Ice Cream Serving Suggestions
As we enjoyed this ice cream the other day, my my husband suggested sprinkling crumbled graham crackers over the top in a nod to a Key Lime Pie’s graham cracker crust.
I felt skeptical at first, but he was totally right! The graham crackers add a satisfying crunch to each smooth, creamy bite.
This combination works so well together that I’m thinking about layering some of this ice cream between two graham crackers to make Key Lime Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches! Sounds good, right?
Now that I’ve tasted this refreshing citrus treat, I’m kicking myself for waiting for limes from my tree to make it. I could have been enjoying it for years!
Sweet and Tangy Lime Ice Cream
Lime Ice Cream
- 3 large limes zested
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup lime juice from about 3 large limes
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- crushed graham crackers
- edible flowers or fresh mint
- Place a one quart container in the freezer to chill.
- In a medium sauce pan, whisk together lime zest and sugar until fragrant. Whisk in lime juice, eggs, and milk to combine.
- Warm the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly until steam rises from the pan and it begins to bubble around the edges.
- Using a fine mesh sieve, strain the custard into a one quart spouted measuring cup, pressing to extract the juices from the zest. Whisk in vanilla and heavy cream. Cover and chill until until the mixture is cold.
- Freeze the lime ice cream base according to the instructions of your ice cream mixer.
- Once the ice cream is ready, spoon it into the pre-frozen container. Cover and place the ice cream in the freezer for several hours.
- If desired, top scoops of ice cream with crushed graham cracker and edible flowers or fresh mint leaves before serving.
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