Jim claimed I could buy Italian ice anywhere in New York. He said during the summer there’d be pushcart vendors on every street corner. We booked a hotel in Chelsea. I walked the Great Hot Way up to Central Park, took the escalator from the posh ground-level Columbus Circle Whole Foods up to even posher doors leading to Per Se and Masa. I gazed at the marvels of the Big Apple and hiked back, all the while hoping to find Italian ice. On the sidewalks of New York I didn’t find one pushcart selling paper cups of granita or sorbetto italiano. Back home I pulled out my Ballymaloe lemon ice cream recipe, tweaked it for tartness, and made the frozen treat myself.
This summer dessert—actually an ice milk—uses less sugar than a classic lemon ice or sorbet, with the sweetness of the milk tempering the lemon. It’s almost an instant whip-up with a farm-fresh raw egg. It freezes quickly in an electric ice cream machine or a manual Donvier. It may also be still-frozen in a plastic bowl or glass baking dish with a stir every half hour or so to prevent large ice crystals from solidifying. If you want a softer, easier-to-scoop ice milk, add a soupspoon of vodka or tequila to the mix. A little lemon ice milk melting over a bowl of blueberries or sliced peaches will seduce even the confirmed chocoholic.
Lemon Ice Milk
1 large lemon
6 tablespoons sugar (2 ¼ oz.)
1 large egg, separated
1 cup whole milk (8 fl. oz.)
2 tablespoons cream (1 fl. oz.) (optional)
Wash and dry the lemon. Use a microplane or fine grater to remove the yellow zest. Rub the lemon zest into the sugar with your fingertips. Squeeze the juice from the lemon; there should be four to five tablespoons.
Whisk the lemon sugar into the egg yolk. Blend in the lemon juice. Stir in the milk and optional cream. With a clean whisk beat the egg whites to soft peaks and fold into the lemon milk base. Taste for sweetness and freeze in a small ice cream maker or still-freeze following suggestion above. Makes about one pint.
Mary Jo’s cookbook is available at Amazon.com http://amzn.to/9lOnZv