Over the next two weeks, my posts will be dedicated to the foods that make me happy when it comes time to grill/BBQ/whatever-you-call-it in this glorious summer weather. I’m really excited to share the upcoming recipes with you. They’ll make your little BBQ-ing heart sing and are perfect for entertaining or not entertaining…it’s your choice when to make them not mine.
First up, this lemon ice. Obviously, it isn’t a recipe you make on the grill, but it is an absolutely refreshing dessert to make and serve in the summer or at the tail end of a cookout. The hardest part of this simple lemon ice is waiting for it to freeze and the occasional stirring in between.
Light and citrusy, I kind of like to think of this as a gourmet popsicle. Well, I guess it would be more like a gourmet popsicle all crushed up in a glass adorned with mint leaves, but you catch my drift. Not only is this elegant enough to serve for company but it also makes an equally delicious and simple treat for a hot weeknight or afternoon snack for the kids. I’ve been wanting to do a little lemonade stand with my kids but after making this icy treat, my five year old said, “Mom, let’s do a Lemon Ice Stand instead!” I haven’t had the heart to tell him that the lemon ice doesn’t stand a chance in our humid heat.
Note: Since I know it might come up in the comments, I don’t know the chemistry behind adding the gelatin except that it adds an almost creamy element to the lemon ice. I suppose you could omit it. You might end up with crunchier, icier lemon ice versus the delightful slushy texture of the ice when using the gelatin. Whatever you do, definitely don’t omit the stirring steps while the lemon ice freezes.
- 12 large lemons (for ¾ to 1 ½ cups fresh lemon juice)
- 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 1/2 cups water
- mint sprigs for garnish (optional)
- Zest 3 of the lemons and set the zest aside. Juice all 12 of the lemons. It should yield about 1 1/2 cups lemon juice (I’ve made it several times and a couple times I only yielded ¾ cup juice thanks to smaller lemons and when I only had 8 lemons – still turns out fantastic but the ideal would be to get about 1 ½ cups fresh lemon juice).
- In a medium saucepan, combine the gelatin, sugar and water, stirring constantly over medium-low heat, until the gelatin is dissolved, about 5-6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest.
- Pour the mixture into a glass 9X13-inch pan. Cover the pan and freeze the mixture until it is partially frozen. It will depend on the temperature/conditions of your freezer but mine took about 6 hours (could be anywhere from 3 to 7 hours). Remove the pan from the freezer and whisk the partially frozen mixture, bringing in the more frozen parts form the edges and whisking until everything is smooth but still slushy and cold. Cover and return the pan to the freezer for another 2-3 hours. Again, whisk the mixture until slushy and the more frozen parts are incorporated. Cover and return the pan to the freezer until firm, about 4 hours or overnight.
- Remove the lemon ice from the freezer about 20 minutes before serving. Scoop into chilled dessert cups (or not chilled, your choice) and garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.
Recipe Source: from Lion House Entertaining