Traditional Meyer Lemon Gelato

Sicilians make good use of the many citrus groves on their island; a traditional breakfast is a scoop of lemon gelato served on brioche. Of course, the combination is also suitable for dessert.

  • Yield: Makes about 1 quart

Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2003


  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (5 or 6 medium lemons)
  • 2 cups milk
  • Grated zest of 1 Meyer lemon
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream


  1. In a small saucepan, cook lemon juice over medium-low heat until reduced by three-quarters, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool completely.

  2. In a medium heavy-bottom saucepan, bring milk and lemon zest just to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat; cover, and steep 30 minutes.

  3. In a mixing bowl, beat yolks and sugar on medium-high speed until very thick and pale, about 5 minutes.

  4. Prepare an ice bath; set aside. Return milk mixture to a simmer; whisk half into egg-yolk mixture. Return mixture to saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thick enough to coat back of the spoon.

  5. Remove from heat; immediately stir in cream. Pass mixture through a fine sieve into a medium bowl set in the ice bath; let stand, stirring frequently, until chilled. Stir in reduced lemon juice.

  6. Freeze mixture in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Store in an airtight container in the freezer until ready to serve, up to 1 week.

Cook's Notes

This tangy gelato is delicious on its own, but we like to cradle scoops in store-bought brioche buns. You can also make this gelato with regular lemons; look for ones with thin skins.


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