My grandson Freddie (7) loves lemons. He likes lemon drizzle cake, lemon sorbet, slices of lemon in drinks. For my birthday lunch at Masaniello last Saturday, when nine of us gathered around the long table, his chosen dessert was lemon sorbet. Not strawberry, chocolate or vanilla ice cream, but lemon sorbet. And he loved it. So I promised we’d make some but I’d have to remember to put my ice-cream maker back in the freezer for 24 hours before he came. The ice-cream maker had gone into hibernation over the winter and was sleeping on top of the fridge/freezer. Knowing he and his brother Ben (4) were coming today, the ice-cream machine was woken from its winter slumber and went back into the freezer yesterday. I looked through a few recipes and finally decided on a lemon yogurt ice cream. This was much easier with a young one and a speedier option than a sorbet, as for that I’d need to make a sugar syrup and allow it to get ice cold before carrying on. This yogurt version was made in minutes. Although we did let it harden more in the freezer before supper, we could have eaten it in a soft version straight away.
Remembering how my Almost Instant Frozen Berry Yogurt froze very hard, so needed to come out of the freezer for quite a few minutes before it was soft enough to serve, I decided to pop into Poundland this morning to buy some cheap, small freezer pots for individual portions for the ice cream. That turned out to be great success. And it’s also more fun for little ones.
I found the recipe in my trusty old Entertaining with Katie Stewart, published in 1990. I used this book so much at one time, delighted by its easy and straightforward but always delicious recipes, particularly focused on entertaining, from brunches to afternoon teas, supper parties and drinks parties – all kinds of entertaining. The recipe was gloriously simple – so simple, that actually Freddie could do it pretty much on his own. This made it ideal for giving young children confidence in the kitchen.
Frozen Lemon Yogurt Cream
- 450g Greek yogurt
- 150ml double cream
- 100g caster sugar
- juice of 2 lemons
All you have to do is put all the ingredients into a large bowl and stir to mix well before transferring to an ice-cream machine. If you don’t have one, just put it in a freezer container and stir with a fork a couple of times while it freezes.
I had to buy three small pots of Greek yogurt to get the fat version – I never buy the 0% fat of anything, let alone Greek yogurt (some fat is essential to good health, especially for kids) but this recipe definitely needs the fat kind for that rich, creamy flavour. However, the three pots turned out to be the exact amount I needed and I gave Freddie a small spatula to scrape the yogurt from each pot into the bowl. The tub of cream was also the right amount, so he could add that to the yogurt and stir it in.
I weighed out the sugar and juiced the lemons and Freddie transferred them to the bowl and did the stirring. When it had all come together, we each tasted just a little on a teaspoon to check we had the right amount of sugar and lemons. The amount of juice you get varies depending on the size and juiciness of the lemon. We both thought – in Goldilocks style – that it was ‘just right’. Now we were all ready to put the mixture in the ice-cream machine.
It’s a good idea to transfer the mixture to a jug first as then it’s easier to pour into the machine. The machine was of course ice cold from the freezer and I set it going, then poured in the mixture. We watched as it slowly moved round and fairly quickly started to thicken and start to look like ice cream. Often I put an ice cream mix in the fridge to chill before churning, but nearly everything in this mix came straight from the fridge so was already cold.
We couldn’t resist another little taste when it was ready. Freddie helped me spoon it into the containers (100ml) and we filled eight of them.
We put them in the freezer and then at suppertime, I took a couple from the freezer as we started eating, allowing the frozen cream to soften a little bit before we ate it. Ben, unlike his brother, doesn’t like lemons so he had an alternative, but Freddie and I excitedly ate our frozen lemon cream.
It was wonderfully refreshing; a slight tartness from the yogurt and lemon but creaminess too and lovely texture. Freddie said it was ‘really yummy’ and you can’t get a better reaction than that from a 7 year old. It was so easy but very delicious and I think freezing it in the little pots was a great move and I shall freeze more ice cream for the family like this.