3 Ingredient No Churn Whole Lemon Ice Cream


This creamy lemon ice cream uses just 3 ingredients. It’s super easy to prepare and you’ll have no-churn ice cream the next day.

Summer is here. It seemed to happen overnight. Before I left for my trip, it was still cold and gloomy in San Diego. Then I came back a week later and it was summer. I guess a lot can happen in a week. For instance, my tomato plants grew about 2 feet tall and are all sprouting tomatoes. And one of my shishito pepper plants has a full sized shishito pepper hanging off of it even though it didn’t have any when we left. Yay!

Anyhow, I’m really excited for summer. And I’m so ready to break out all the ice cream and ice pop recipes. I love summer! I think I love summer especially since I live in San Diego where it doesn’t usually get too unbearably hot.

Last week I shared with you my recipe for whole lemon ice pops. I went through several failed attempts before coming up with the winning formula but while I was eating through all the failed ones, it occurred to  me that I should make an ice cream version as well. I really love the recipe uses an entire lemon (minus the seeds) because it means less waste to feel guilty about and it really brings out the lemon flavor in this ice cream.

I’m still trying to figure out the best no-churn ice cream formula. I have an ice cream maker so I never really bothered with the idea in the past. But now, I’m determined to figure out the perfect no-churn recipe, especially since I’m constantly forgetting to freeze the ice cream container the day before I’m about to make my ice cream. This recipe uses a technique I learned last year with full fat sour cream and condensed milk. I found that the lemon did make the ice cream slightly icier, but still tasty. Plus it’s so easy!

I plan on experimenting more though, so expect more no-churn ice cream recipes in the future.

No Churn Whole Lemon Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/8 cup full fat sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cup full fat sour cream
  • 1 small whole lemon, thinly sliced and seeds removed (use ripe meyer lemon for best results)

Directions:

  1. Add all three ingredients into a blender. Blend on high speed until lemon is fully dissolved (about 30 seconds on the smoothie setting for my Blendtec).
  2. Pour into container (metal loaf pans work great). Thump bottom of container against the counter a few times to let the ice cream settle and smooth out. You can also use a spatula to help smooth it out. Freeze overnight.
Adapted from Lady and Pups

All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.

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29 comments on “3 Ingredient No Churn Whole Lemon Ice Cream”

  1. This looks great! I made your whole lemon bars the other day and they turned out wonderful, but I imagine adding sour cream would really compliment the flavors. I’m also kind of curious about how lemon curd could be incorporated into a recipe like this. Lemon curd swirls sound very pretty, but they may not freeze well.
    This is a funny coincidence, I am going to make Lady and Pups’s espresso flan butter-roux cake today! Her blog is very wonderful and creative. 
    I really appetite all your ice pop recipes! The lemon and mango ones turned out so well and are so good for hot summer.

    • I actually thought about lemon curd too! I think you can swirl it in and it’ll look quite nice. I haven’t explored Lady and Pup’s other recipes. I’ll have to check them out!

  2. This ice cream looks so delicious and refreshing!

  3. This may be a dumb question: Do I peel the lemon before I blend it? 

  4. Love the recipe…hate my freezer!  Space is always at a premium.  Can it be frozen in something a bit more flexible like a plastic freezer bag?

    • Well it can probably be frozen in almost any type of container, but I’m not sure how you will scoop out the ice cream after if it’s in a plastic freezer bag. Perhaps you can freeze is in smaller containers?

  5. This recipe was genius!! the ice cream turned out SO good. Thank you!

  6. It’s sounds very interesting!! A bit silly question but what is your cream? Is it curd?

    • Sorry I don’t quite understand your question. Are you asking about the sour cream listed in the recipe? Sour cream is not the same as curd. Here in the US, you can find it in the refrigerated section with the cheeses

  7. It’s a shame that one must actually print out your recipe. Most so called “Print Recipe” programs allow you to copy and paste to your computer or Thumb drive..

    • When you click the print button, it opens the recipe up in a separate tab. You can then highlight and copy text and put it in a document if you would rather save it to the computer. Or, if you go on to click the “proceed to print” button, it should then open up in printer mode, but you should have the option to choose the printer. Instead of letting it go to printer, you can instead select “save as pdf” to save the document.

  8. Is it possible to replace the sour cream with greek yogurt (2% or 0%), to make this a lighter recipe?

  9. I love all the recipes but Do they have to give cup measures why not grams and ml for liquids so ,much easier. Thanks

  10. Can I use creme fraiche instead of sour creme,thanks

  11. I made this last night for my husband, who loves lemon ice cream. I found it to be a bit bitter.. Did I do something wrong?

    • Hmm, it could have been that your lemon had a lot of rind, especially since it’s no longer peak lemon season. I try to use lemon with thin rinds, or you can cut off some of the rind and not use all of it.

  12. Could  you do this with Orange?

    • I think it’s possible, but I haven’t tried it. And you may need a little tweaking. Oranges typically produce more juice than lemons and too much juice may make it icy.

  13. I like the flavor but there is so much pulp in my ice cream! If I try this again, I think I will blend up just the lemon and then strain it so that my ice cream is smoother in the end. It also does have a bit of bitter aftertaste, even though I didn’t include much pith-I zested the outside of the lemon, cut off as much white pith as I could and then used the fruit.

    • Hmm. That is strange as I didn’t have that much pulp in mine. A few things, it may be the lemon type. I used meyer lemons which tend to have more juice. Also it could be the blender? If it’s just a regular blender, it might not break down the lemon as much. I think it works best if you use a high powdered blender like one for smoothies, such as a Blentec, Vitamix, Ninja, etc.

      • Thank you so much for that additional information. That makes a big difference in the outcome of the recipe.
        Meyer lemons are sweeter, this may be why some commenters are expressing theirs was bitter. Meyer lemons have a thinner skin as well.
        Leaving the lemons on the counter for a day or 2 may contribute to their ripeness and bring out additional sweetness too, thus limiting tartness.

      • I’ve added a note to the recipe, suggesting the use of meyer lemons

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