Lemon Gelato

SonjaDesserts14 Comments

Lemon Gelato | A Couple Cooks

Lemon Gelato | A Couple CooksLemon Gelato | A Couple Cooks

Gelato is an essential part of a trip to Italy, at least the trips we take. This fluffy, Italian-style ice cream is so intensely flavorful that it’s hard to pass up, especially when there’s a shop on every corner. On our recent trip to Rome, we spent one afternoon visiting five different gelato shops to sample flavors (I mean, we had to find out which was best!).

I usually go for chocolate flavors if I have the choice, but surprisingly, Alex and I found that our favorite gelato flavor was not a rich chocolate but lemon. And this isn’t just any lemon. This is tangy, intense, lip-puckering lemon, with just the right hint of sweetness so that doesn’t taste a bit sour. It was so intense and refreshing that we ordered it frequently.

Of course there’s nothing like gelato made in Italy, but this is our attempt to make lemon gelato at home. With only three ingredients, it’s a simple concept, but does take some time to assemble (mostly hands-off). It’s actually closer to a sorbet made with fruit and water, which is how most of the fruit-flavored gelatos in Italy are made. Interestingly, we found it was best made with milk, which gives it a slightly creamy consistency.

Give it a try and let us know if you’re transported to Italy, or if you have a favorite gelato flavor or recipe!

Our Trip: Rome & Naples, Italy

Lemon Gelato
Serves: 4
What You Need
  • 6 to 7 lemons (enough for 1 ½ cups lemon juice)
  • 1 ½ cups 2% milk
  • ¾ cup white sugar
What To Do
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 ½ cups milk and ¾ cup sugar. Over medium heat, heat until the sugar fully dissolves when stirred; do not boil. Transfer to a bowl and bring to room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, juice enough for 1 ½ cups lemon juice (about 6 lemons). Stir the lemon juice into the milk mixture, then place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours.
  3. After the mixture is chilled, churn it in an ice cream maker. Serve immediately for soft serve consistency, or freeze for another 2 hours for a firmer consistency. (Freezing overnight makes the gelato become rock-hard; however, this occurs, you can bring it back to the soft serve texture by running it through a food processor.)

14 Comments on “Lemon Gelato”

  1. Dena Norton

    I’ll never forget the sight and smell of the citrus-lined streets and football sized lemons around Naples/Sorrento….and, oh, the limoncello gelato!! Thanks for the walk down memory lane, and for the recipe – pinned!

  2. Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life

    I have such fond memories of wandering through Rome with a cup of pistachio gelato (my favourite) or lemon sorbet. Thank you for giving me the inspiration to recreate these at home! (and hopefully talk my boyfriend into a trip to Italy one day!)

    1. Sonja

      Interesting! Did you cool the milk and sugar all the way down to room temperature before adding the lemon juice?

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