Sunday, January 5, 2014

12 Days of Meyers - Ginger Meyer Lemon Ice Cream with Honey Swirl

For Day 3 of my Twelve Days of Meyers, I'd like to introduce the lovely Mary Helen from Mary Makes Dinner.  This sweet gal was the person that first taught me how to make asian dumplings from scratch. I had no idea how easy it was to make them until I took her class. I've been hooked on those and everything else she creates in her kitchen ever since.  She makes vegetarian so doable. She crafts like a queen. She teaches cooking classes and is a local speaker - all of this on top of her day job.  And if that's not enough to make you feel tired, she's now embarking on mamahood.  Her sweet personality shines through in her smile and her beautiful food photos will leave you drooling.  I'm not at all surprised that she chose ice cream as her contribution to this series because she is continually creating ice cream flavors that go beyond the ordinary, such as her Smoked Chocolate.  If you get a chance, go follow her Facebook page to stay up to date with all her musings, and of course, enjoy this creamy sweet Meyer treat. 

Ginger & Meyer Lemon Ice Cream with Honey Swirl

I love meyer lemons in desserts. Their mellow tartness and floral aroma have a wonderful way of tempering the richness of heavier ingredients like cream, custard, and butter. This makes them ideal for lemon bars, cream pies, and cake filling, but if you ask me, ice cream is where lemons really shine. Any trace of bitterness and acidity is softened in ice cream, allowing the sunny flavor and delicate aroma of meyer lemons to prevail. The result is a magical dessert that is somehow both light and indulgent.

The addition of ginger gives this ice cream a slightly spicy note, making it just a little bit more interesting than your everyday lemon ice cream, and the drizzled layers of honey provide a sweet, chewy surprise between bites. This aromatic custard can be devoured right from the pint, but I like it best when its packed into a crispy wafer cone. I suspect that it would also make an excellent topping for a simple baked dessert, like pound cake or angel food. If you’re feeling adventurous, try making a Ginger Ice Cream Parfait by packing the ice cream between layers of lemon cake or angel food, crushed shortbread or gingersnaps, and fresh whipped cream.

This recipe involves making a special simple syrup infused with lemon and ginger. You’ll have plenty of syrup leftover. I recommend saving it in a jar in the fridge for future cocktails, marinades, and popsicles.

Ginger Meyer Syrup
Makes about one cup


  • 2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and grated 
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1 cup water the zest and juice of 
  • 2 meyer lemons 


  1. Combine the sugar, water, lemon zest, and ginger in a small sauce pan.
  2. Bring the contents to a boil over high heat, then immediately reduce to a simmer.
  3. Simmer for ten minutes, then remove from heat.
  4. When the mixture has cooled, pour it through a fine mesh strainer.
  5. Add the lemon juice, then mix well.
  6. The finished syrup should be kept covered and refrigerated.

Meyer Lemon Ice Cream with Honey Swirl
Makes about two pints


  • 2 cups whole milk 
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch 
  • 1 1⁄2 ounces cream cheese, softened 
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 1⁄4 cups heavy cream 
  • 2⁄3 cup sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup 
  • the peel from one lemon 
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and thin­sliced 
  • 1⁄2 cup Ginger Meyer Syrup 
  • 1⁄8 cup honey 


  1. Combine 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch to form a slurry. Set aside. 
  2. Whisk the cream cheese and salt
  3. Combine the remaining milk, heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup, lemon peel, and ginger in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 4 minutes. 
  4. Remove from heat, and slowly whisk in the cornstarch slurry. 
  5. Return the pot to the burner, and bring to a boil again. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for about one minute, long enough for the mixture to thicken slightly. 
  6. Slowly whisk the hot custard with the cream cheese, making sure to melt the cheese into the mixture completely. 
  7. Shock the mixture to cool it as quickly as possible. You can do this by transferring the mixture to a large plastic bag or large mixing bowl and submerging it in an ice bath. 
  8. When the mixture cools to room temperature, transfer it to the refrigerator, and let it chill for about an hour. 
  9. Remove the lemon peel and ginger slices, then pour the mixture slowly into the ice cream machine while it is already running. After the mixture has all been poured in, add the Ginger Meyer syrup. Allow the mixture to churn for 20 ­ 40 minutes, or until it firms up and starts pulling away from the sides of the tumbler. 
  10. When the ice cream is finished churning, transfer it to freezer containers one scoop at a time. Drizzle thin stripes of honey in between the layers using a squirt bottle. 10. Freeze the packed ice cream for several hours before scooping. 

Mary Helen is a blogger and culinary instructor from Austin, Texas. You can find more of her recipes on her food blog, Mary Makes Dinner.

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