This no-churn zitronen eis is the perfect easy dessert for a hot summer afternoon! Light and tart but with a creamy texture unlike lemon sorbet.
No-Churn, Egg free, Lemon Ice Cream
As a kid, one of my favorite things was getting zitronen eis (lemon ice cream) while walking around in Germany. There are ice cream shops everywhere and there is something different about the lemon ice cream there. This zitronen eis has a softer, creamier texture than sorbet – while still maintaining the bright lemony flavor!
This ice cream is made with just five ingredients and the base comes together in just about ten minutes (not including freezing time)! Arguably, for many, the best part of this recipe is that you don’t need an ice cream maker.
Tips for making Zitronen Eis
- When whipping the cream initially, be sure not to over whip it because it can easily turn into butter. However, you do want to whip it into stiff peaks because, lemon juice and milk will then be added to the whipped cream.
- When zesting the lemon be sure not to zest more than just the outer layer. You want to avoid the white part of the rind which is called the pith and can be very bitter.
- When adding in the lemon juice and milk, be sure to pour them in slowly as to not split the heavy cream mixture.
- If you prefer soft server, eat the ice cream about 4 hours after the last stir. If you want it more like traditional ice cream, wait at least 8 hours and then let sit at room temp for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- Heavy Whipping Cream: Both heavy cream and heavy whipping cream will work for this ice cream. I tend to use heavy whipping cream because it is easier for me to find. Make sure the cream is cold when whipping it.
- Lemon Zest and Juice: This recipe uses lemon juice and lemon zest to get a lot of lemon flavor. Make sure to wash the lemon before zesting it.
- Granulated Sugar: This recipe uses granulated sugar as the sweetness in the ice cream.
- Salt: Salt is used to balance out the sweetness.
- Milk: Skim milk or whole milk can be used here. The addition of milk helps to make the ice cream a little lighter.
How to make Zitronen Eis
- Juice the lemons into a measuring cup with a spout.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, salt, lemon zest, and cold heavy whipping cream. Whip on medium speed until it begins to thicken, then high speed until stiff peaks.
- With the mixer running, slowly pour in the cold milk, followed by the lemon juice.
- Pour the mixture into a metal loaf tin and cover with plastic. Place in the freezer for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, remove from the freezer and stir with a spoon to fully mix in the partially frozen ice cream. Smooth out the top, re-cover with plastic, and place back in the freezer for another hour. Continue this process 3 more times.
- Cover the ice cream one more time and place in the freezer for 4-8 more hours before serving.
- Stand Mixer
- 350 ml heavy whipping cream
- 100 grams granulated sugar
- 1 lemon zested
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 250 ml lemon juice
- 100 ml milk
Making the Ice Cream Base
- Squeeze the lemon juice into a liquid measuring cup.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the heavy cream, sugar, zest, and salt.
- Whip on medium speed until it begins to thicken. Then whip on high until stiff peaks form.
- With the mixer running, slowly pour in the cold milk and then the lemon juice.
- Whip for 1 minute on high after the milk and juice have been added.
- Pour the whipped mixture into a metal loaf tin. Smooth out the surface and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for 1 hour.
- After an hour, remove from the freezer and stir. Some of the ice cream will have started to freeze. Mix everything until combined.
- Smooth the surface, re-cover the ice cream, and place back in the freezer for another hour.
- Repeat the stirring and freezing 3 more times.
- Then smooth out the top, re-cover with plastic, and place back in the freezer for 4-8 more hours until it has reached your desired consistency.