Not quite a sorbet, not quite ice cream…this lemon ice is somewhere in-between. Since I saw it in the July/August issue of Everyday Food, I wanted to try and make it. This will make the second frozen treat in a row since I last posted and I hope that’s okay, although with the heat we’ve all been having I’m sure no one is complaining.
The original recipe uses sugar and raw egg whites. As usual, I substituted the sugar with honey and instead of using pasteurized egg whites (as it was suggested) I made a syrup with the honey and water as if making meringue, the heat from the syrup effectively cooking the egg whites. When I first made it, I wasn’t sure if it would work since I couldn’t seem to fold the egg whites into the lemon juice; they made two layers. I hoped for the best and thankfully it did work out.
The result? A lovely frozen dessert that has a bright, full lemon flavour and is made light by the inclusion of the beaten egg whites. My family, who all tried it, loved it and needless to say, it didn’t last long.
Slightly adapted from Everyday Food
The lemon ice has a high melting point as soon as it’s served, so it should be eaten straight away. The original recipe uses 1 1/4 cups of lemon juice, although 1 cup also gives sufficient lemon flavour. You can use regular lemons, or a combination with Meyer lemons. The number of lemons used depends on the size. It also takes longer to freeze than in the original recipe, since sugar freezes faster and harder than honey.
Despite the length of my instructions, this is simple and easy to make.
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup water
1 cup strained lemon juice (from about 7 lemons, I used three Meyer lemons and 5 regular lemons; see above note)
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup water
3 medium or large egg whites, room temperature
Heat the first amount of honey and water in a small saucepan over medium heat, until the honey is melted. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice. Transfer to a glass baking dish and cover, chilling in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Wash the saucepan and reuse for the second amount of honey and water. Cook over medium heat, until it reaches 200 degrees on a candy thermometer.
Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until frothy. Slowly and gradually pour in the honey syrup as you continue beating the egg whites until stiff and glossy. (If you’re doing this by hand — even firm peaks will do.*) Gently fold the egg whites into the lemon juice, as best you can. There will be two layers, with the egg whites on top and the liquid at the bottom no matter how much you fold. This is okay and normal. Cover and freeze for 2 hours.
At the 2-hour mark, scrape with a fork or gently stir and fold with a rubber spatula to combine the two layers. Freeze until firm, for another 4 hours or overnight. You may stir it with a rubber spatula every 1 or 2 hours during this time to combine the layers, as they may separate. (As it freezes and becomes firmer, it becomes easier to combine the two.)
Scoop into dishes and serve. Enjoy!
*Firm peaks: in the middle between soft and stiff egg whites, stiff and able to hold a peak